Scientific Name: Allium cepa

Common Varieties:

Early Bulb: Grano (red or white), Granex (red or white), California Early Red.

Green Bunching (scallions): Evergreen White, Southport White, White Sweet Spanish, White Lisbon, Tokyo Long White.
Late Bulb: Fiesta (yellow Sweet Spanish type), Yellow Sweet Spanish, White Sweet Spanish, Southport White Globe, Southport Red Globe, Stockton Yellow Globe.

Image by Lars Blankers

Crop Information

The two main types of onions are strong flavored (American) and mild or sweet (sometimes called European). Each has three distinct colors -- yellow,white, and red. Generally, the American onion produces bulbs of smaller size, denser texture,stronger flavor, and better keeping quality than European types. Globe varieties tend to keep longer in storage.

french onion soup.jpg



1/2 cup unsalted butter

4 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 fresh thyme sprigs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle

3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 quarts beef broth

1 baguette, sliced

1/2 pound grated Gruyere


  1. Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

  2. When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

  4. Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Source: French Onion Soup, Tyler Florence, Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/french-onion-soup-recipe2-1947434

Image by Christopher Previte

Grower Practices

Onion varieties also have different requirements regarding the number of daylight hours required to make a bulb. If the seed catalog lists the onion as long-day, it sets bulbs when it receives 15 to 16 hours of daylight. Short-day varieties set bulbs with about 12 hours of daylight. The variety and the planting date are extremely important in the production of a good bulb crop.

Image by Townsend Walton

County Statistics

Bearing Acreage: 2,292


Yield Per Acre: 24.57 Tons / Acre


Total Tons: 56,300 Tons


Gross Total Value: $17,071,000

Data Source: San Joaquin County Crop Report, 2019. https://www.sjgov.org/WorkArea//DownloadAsset.aspx?id=33165

Added Value: Essential Food Production, Essential Worker Employment, Education, Research