Onion Sets Grades and Standards

Grades of Onion Sets

  1. U.S. No. 1 consists of onion sets of similar varietal characteristics which are mature, fairly firm, free from decay and from damage caused by tops, sprouting, freezing, mold, moisture, dirt, chaff or other foreign matter, disease, insects, or mechanical or other means.
a. The minimum size shall be not less than 5/16 inch in diameter. The maximum size shall be not more than 1 inch in diameter. Unless otherwise specified, at least 50 percent, by weight, of the sets in the lot shall be 3/4 inch and smaller: Provided, That the percentage specified shall not include any sets less than 5/16 inch in diameter: And provided further, That the "U.S. No. 1" designation shall not be used on lots of sets that have less than 40 percent from 5/16 to 3/4 inch, inclusive.
b. Other maximum sizes smaller than 1 inch may be specified in connection with the grade in terms of fourths, eighths, or sixteenths of an inch as "U.S. No. 1, 3/4-inch maximum", "U.S. No. 1, 7/8-inch maximum", "U.S. No. 1, 15/16-inch maximum", in accordance with the facts. Percentages less than 50 but not less than 40 must be specified in connection with the grade and percentages greater than 50 for sets which are from 5/16 to 3/4 inch in diameter may be specified as "U.S. No. 1, 40 percent 3/4 inch and smaller", "U.S. No. 1, 65 percent 3/4 inch and smaller", etc. in accordance with the facts. A range in diameters may also be specified as "U.S. No. 1, 3/8 to 7/8 inch" provided the lot has 40 percent or more of sets 5/16 to 3/4 inch in diameter.
c. Tolerances. In order to allow for variations incident to proper grading and handling, the following tolerances, by weight, are provided as specified:
1. For defects. Not more than a total of 6 percent of the onion sets in any lot may fail to meet the requirements of the grade, including therein not more than 2 percent for onion sets affected by decay and not more than 2 percent for dirt, chaff, and other foreign matter.
2. For size. Eight percent for onion sets which are larger than the specified maximum size and 3 percent for onion sets which are smaller than the specified minimum size.
3. No part of any tolerance shall be used to reduce the percentage of onion sets in any lot which is specified to be within any range from 5/16 to 3/4 inch in diameter.
  1. U.S. No. 2 consists of onion sets which meet the requirements of U.S. No. 1 grade except that they shall be free from serious damage by tops and except for size requirements.
a. The minimum size shall be not less than 5/16 inch in diameter. The maximum size shall be not more than 1-1/8 inches in diameter. Unless otherwise specified at least 50 percent, by weight, of the sets in the lot shall be 7/8 inch and smaller: Provided, that the percentages specified shall not include any sets less than 5/16 inch in diameter.
b. Other minimum sizes may be specified in connection with the grade as "U.S. No. 2, 3/8 inch minimum", "U.S. No. 2, 1/2 inch minimum", etc., in accordance with the facts. A maximum size of 1-1/16 inches may also be specified. Percentages other than that specified for sets which are from 5/16 to 7/8 inch inclusive in diameter or a range of diameters may also be specified as "U.S. No. 2, 60 percent 7/8 inch and smaller", "U.S. No. 2, 3/4 to 1-1/8 inches", etc., in accordance with the facts. When a minimum size larger than 5/16 inch, or a range of diameters is specified in connection with the grade there is no requirement as to the percentage of sets from 5/16 to 7/8 inch in diameter.
c. Tolerances. In order to allow for variations incident to proper grading and handling, the following tolerances, by weight, are provided as specified:
1. For defects. Not more than a total of 6 percent of the onion sets in any lot may fail to meet the requirements of the grade, including therein not more than 2 percent for onion sets affected by decay and not more than 2 percent for dirt, chaff, and other foreign matter.
2. For size. Eight percent for onion sets which are larger than the specified maximum size and 3 percent for onion sets which are smaller than the specified minimum size.
3. No part of any tolerance shall be used to reduce the percentage of onion sets in any lot which is specified to be within any range from 5/16 to 7/8 inch in diameter.

Detailed standards, Inspection Instructions & Other Resources: