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Argentina analysing how to obtain high-end garlic

The recent appearance on the market of new varieties of garlic, requires not only studying their agronomic behavior in production areas, but also to assess their commercial behavior.

A report published in the latest edition of Inforajo (digital broadcast bulletin of the Garlic Project / INTA, edited by the Agricultural Experiment Station La Consulta of the national organism) indicates that the commercial behavior "has to do with the ability of the varieties to be preserved in time, maintaining their Shelf life (studied through the pressure resistance, or dormant state or indexes on consumer acceptance), but also involves a number of factors that affect the pattern of
premium quality, particularly during the cultivation period."

Bulbs altered

The work, which addresses the issue on the quality of Argentine white garlic varieties for the premium quality production in the 2011/2012 campaign, explains that "winter thermal conditions and late spring can generate altered forms of the bulbs (such as the hammer garlic), and these defects, although they are considered mild, are discarded at the high-end production."

He adds that these same conditions can alter the number of plants that are harvested, due to the appearance of "Cebollones bulbs" or other widespread pathogens in commercial crops, etc., varying from year to year. The harvest and post harvest conditions can also alter the proportion of normal bulbs, as in the case of "waxy breakdown".

Premium Quality

Each variety shows its total return potential, but not all of the production can be marketed as premium garlic as demanded by many international markets, especially in the Northern Hemisphere; so it is of commercial interest to detect the quality of the garlic to be exported in each campaign.

The objective of this study, developed by agronomists José Luis Burba, Silvina Lanzavechia and Ramon Ocañas, was to establish the aptitude of white garlic varieties for premium quality production.

The trial took place in San Carlos (Mendoza, Argentina), with six crops that were registered in the white garlic INASE (Northern INTA , Union, Snow INTA, Pearl INTA, Silver INTA and Cristal INTA), and a control variety (White A).

Researchers used as response variables the number of bulbs in a harvest (survival), diameter and their average weight (dry and cleaned), and the presence of defective bulbs (hammers, mushy and multiple), within 60 days of the harvest, with which the PER (specific relative weight) is calculated, the RRPT (Relative Performance Total Potential), and RRPP (Relative Performance of Premium Production).

The ratio between the yield of premium bulbs and total yield measures the aptitude of garlic crops for high-end production.

Different aptitudes

Each crop has a different aptitude to produce "perfect bulbs" and the overall yield is not always the best parameter to measure the success of a business.

Thus, for the 2011 -2012 season, Northern INTA, which has an overall very good potential yield (close to 24,000 kg / ha or 2,400 boxes x 10 kg / ha), only managed 25% of marketable yield with just 6,000 kg/ha (600 boxes x 10 kg/ha). Northern INTA generally well behaved, was punished in RRPP by the presence of Waxy Breakdown.

Moreover Crystal INTA, with an overall excellent potential yield (next to 27,600 kg/ha or 2760 boxes x 10 kg/ha), managed about 80% of marketable yield with 21,400 kg/ha or 2,140 boxes x 10 kg/ha).

Source: Losandes

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