Seed World

New Mexico Crop Researcher Becomes an Onion Whisperer

Onion seed cleaning as part of the onion breeding program at New Mexico State University.

A new cultivar of onion from New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station is now ready for seed industry commercialization with the assistance of Arrowhead Center.

NuMex Whisper is an open-pollinated, highly single-centered, late-maturing, intermediate-day, yellow-scaled onion cultivar and is sown in the fall in southern New Mexico and similar environments. The onion was released in 2013.
NMSU’s Christopher Cramer, a professor of horticulture in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the Jose Fernandez Memorial Chair in Crop Production, has worked on this project since 1978, after crossing numerous short-day and intermediate-day varieties in different ways. He’s worked toward developing an onion bulb that is firm, has dry, high-quality outer scale characteristics, and has a center-growing point. NuMex Whisper’s scale characteristics, such as bulb firmness and scale color, adherence, thickness and number, were important in the quality evaluations.

More information is available here: