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Currently all garlic is planted from cloves, also called, “seed,” “seed garlic,” or “seed stock.” Most garlic grown in Oregon is from the softneck category and is produced for the dehydration industry, which is grown for planting stock for commercial garlic producers in California, Nevada and other states. If there is an excess of seed stock from a producer it can be sold for fresh market garlic and be dehydrated. The seed garlic grown in cooler climates like Central Oregon, create more vigorous production when planted in California than if the seed garlic was also produced there.
Two types of silverskin garlic are commonly grown in Oregon for seed stock, California Early and California Late. Garlic is planted in the early fall and ready to harvest by mid-July. The garlic harvest sequence includes topping, digging, sorting, loading and transport to the dehydration facility. Garlic is ready for harvest when the tops of the garlic, above ground, are partially dried out and begin to bend to the ground. If the garlic is going to be planted immediately after harvest, the garlic tops are beat off and the bulbs are mechanically dug up into rows a few days later. The garlic is then loaded into sacks or bins, then placed in curing shelters or kept in the field for final curing.
Over 500 acres of garlic was planted and harvested in 2012, yielding 14,000 pounds an acre and grossing $1,932,000.