NuMex Vado & Luna
NuMex Vado and NuMex Luna were developed by Professor Joe Corgan of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. They were developed form a cross between NuMex BR1 and bolting resistant selections from Ben Shemen. NuMex BR1 was released by the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station in 1981. It is a bolting-resistant grano-type variety with a medium level of pink root resistance. Ben Shaman is an intermediate-maturing variety originated in Israel from a selection known as Riverside, thought to be a selection from Yellow Sweet Spanish. Reciprocal crosses were made in 1984, and the F1 plants were intercrossed in 1986. Seeds were collected separately from the reciprocal populations and bulbs were selected in 1987. Selected bulbs were intercrossed in 1988. In 1989, two bulb selections were made, based on maturity. The bulbs selected for early maturity were intercrossed to produce a population from which NuMex Vado was selected. The bulbs selected for late maturity were intercrossed to produce a population from which NuMex Vado was selected. Selections were made again in 1991, resulting in seed sources 9270 (NuMex Vado) and 9229 (NuMex Luna). With each intercross, seeds were collected separately from the reciprocal populations. For the 1992 intercross, seeds were collected only from the population originating from the Ben Shemen parent, and both varieties are therefore 'N' cytoplasm. The frequency of nuclear ms genes, if any, is unknown. (Above picture is of NuMex Vado (99). Below is a picture of NuMex Luna (98).)
Criteria for selection included: bolting resistance, pink root resistance, bulb firmness, bulb shape, scale characteristics, and maturity. Bolting resistance screening was done in the field from early September plantings which had more than 75% bolting. Picture of Luna Onion. Pink root screening was done in infested fields at bulb maturity. NuMex Vado was tested in 1993, and '94 as 9229. In 1995, a seed increase from 9229 was tested as 9416.
The two varieties are similar to each other in all respects except maturity. NuMex Vado matures a few days to a week later than NuMex Starlite (about June 10 to 15 from an October planting in Las Cruces), and NuMex Luna matures a week or more later than NuMex Vado. Bulb characteristics are somewhat variable and intermediate between that of the two parents. Most bulbs are slightly top-shaped, but more rounded than the NuMex BR1 Parent. Bulbs are firm to hard, scales are a darker yellow and more persistent than the grano-type onions. Pink root resistance is improved over either parent, and adequate for production on land severely infested with the pink root pathogen. Bolting resistance is less than NuMex BR1. Suggested earliest planting date is October 1 for NuMex Luna and October 5 for NuMex Vado. They are suggested for planting to provide harvest during the last half of June, following NuMex Starlite and preceding harvest of spring-planted intermediate varieties.