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Plant Genetic Resources and Crop Improvement

Onion : (Big)

Agrifound Dark Red: Bulbs are dark red in colour, globular in shape with tight skin, moderately pungent. Mature in 95-110 days after transplanting. Recommended for growing in Kharif season to all over the country.

Agrifound Light Red: Bulbs are globular in shape with tight skin and light red colour. Mature in 110-120 days after transplanting having good  keeping quality.  Recommended for growing in Rabi season  all over country.

NHRDF-Red (LINE-28): Bulbs are attractive dark red in colour. Variety is very popular among farmers in North India because of its attractive dark red colour and better storage performance. Mature in 110-120 days after transplanting. Recommend for cultivation in Northern, Central and Western India in Rabi season.

NHRDF-Red-2 (L-355): Bulbs are attractive red in colour, globular in shape with tight skin. Mature in 100-120 days after transplanting. Recommended for growing in Rabi season.

Agrifound White: Bulbs are globular in shape, tight skin and silvery attractive white colour. Mature in 110-130 days after transplanting having good   keeping quality. Suitable for cultivation in late Kharif and Rabi seasons. Good variety for dehydration. Recommended for Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Onion (Small)

Agrifound Rose: Bulbs are flatish round in shape, deep scarlet red in colour. Mature in 95-110 days from sowing. Variety is suitable for growing in Kharif in Andhra Pradesh and in all three seasons in Karnataka.

Onion (Multiplier)

Agrifound Red: Average size of cluster is 7.15cm with average weight of 65-67 g. Average numbers of bulblets per cluster 5-6. Colour of bulblets is light red. Mature in 65-67 days after planting. Recommended for cultivation in Kharif and Rabi in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Crop Production System Management

To harness the real genetic potential of a variety, the integrated approach in crop production system in terms of plant nutrients, irrigation and weed management is essential. The NHRDF has developed technologies in onion based on consistent research and recommended for adoption to farmers.

To get the quality bulblets (sets), sowing of Agrifound Dark Red seed @ 15-25 g/m2  from 5th to 25th January under Nashik conditions of Maharashtra and 15th to 30th January under Karnal conditions of Harayana are recommended for better germination and higher recovery of acceptable size (1.5 – 2.0 cm.) of bulblets.

The transplanting of 6-7 weeks old seedlings from 15th July and 31st August for kharif crop, 8-9 weeks old seedlings during October-November for late kharif (rangda) crop and  December-January for rabi crop at a spacing of 12.5 – 15.0 cm x 10.0 cm have been recommended.

Planting of 1.5-2.0 cm sized bulblets at a spacing of 10.0 x 10.0 cm on Broad Based Furows system is recommended in kharif season for early crop. The use of Cytozyme @ 0.2 % as root dip before transplanting followed by foliar application of the same at 15 and 45 days after transplanting is recommended for higher yield during rabi, as well as kharif.

Foliar spray of water soluble fertilizers (specialty fertilizers) NPK-19:19:19 + 6TE @ 1 % at 15,30 and 45 days after transplanting followed by NPK-13:0:45 @ 1 % at 60,75 and 90 days after transplanting are recommended for getting quality bulb and higher yield. The foliar application of Zinc @ 3ppm + Copper @ 1ppm + Boron @ 0.5 ppm are recommended for enhancement of plant growth, bulb yield and quality. The foliar application of wettable sulphur @ 1 % at 15, 30, 45 and 60 days after transplanting are recommended for higher bulb yield with less disease and pest load.

Application of elemental sulphur @ 30 Kg/ha is recommended for bulb yield whill the use of gypsum @ 45 Kg/ha is recommended for this improvement quality in terms of TSS and dusmatter under  Nashik conditions of  Maharashtra. Under Karnal   conditions of Haryana use of elemental sulphur @ 45 Kg/ha is recommended for higher yield.

Application of NPKS @ 100:50:50:30 K + FYM @ 20t + Azotabactor @ 5 Kg + PSB @ 5 Kg per ha is recommended for higher bulb yield under Nashik conditions of  Maharashtra. Under integrated mutrient management.

Use of Pendimethalin @ 3.5 l/ha or Oxyfluorfen @ 0.15 Kg. a.i/ha at 3 days after transplanting are recommended for effective weed control in onion alongwith one handweeding at 25-30 days after transplanting in kharif crop and 40-45 Days After Planting in rabi crop. The use of rice straw mulch or wheat straw mulch during rabi season is recommended to enhance the yield also.

The combined application of Oxyfluorfen 23.5 % EC @ 1ml/l + quizalofop ethyl  5 % EC @ 2 ml/L at 20-25 days after transplanting (DAT) and having at 30-35 DAT gave good  confort of weech and  higher bulb yield.

The combined application of Oxyfluorfen 23.5 % EC @ 0.75ml/l + quizalofop ethyl  5 % GC @ 125 ml/l before p counting   and second application at 30 DAT  gave higher bulb yield and need control.

The irrigation of field at 4 to 8 hours before transplanting is recommended during kharif season under Karnal conditions of Haryana for better establishment of seedling and higher bulb yield. The irrigation at 1.25 CPE (Irrigation Depth/Cumulative Pan Evaporation) is recommended for higher yield during rabi season. The drip irrigation enhances the yield and quality of bulbs in onion and thus recommended to farmers.

The drip irrigation for one hour daily or 2-3 at alternate  days is recommended under Nashik conditions of  Maharashtra for higher yield.

Plant Health Management

Damping off disease of onion nursery

Soil solarization using 250 guage transparent polythene for 25 days followed by soil treatment with Trichoderma viride/T.harzianum @ 5 kg/ha or Thiram @ 5g/m2 in nursery beds and seed treatment with T. viride/T.harzianum @ 5 g/kg or Thiram @ 2.5g/kg seed is recommended for effective control of damping off disease in nursery.

Foliar diseases of onion

Mancozeb (Dithane M-45) @ 0.25% Chlorothalonil (Kavach) @ 0.2 % or Propineb (Antracol) @ 0.2 % with sticker sandovit @ 0.06% sprayed at 10 days intervals or  four sprays of Mancozeb @ 0.25%+Monocrotophos @ 0.05% is recommended to control the purple blotch (Alternaria porri) and stemphylium blight (Stemphylium vesicarium). Carbendazim (Bavistin) @ 0.1 % (1.0g/L of water) or Benlet @ 0.1 % followed by Dithane Z-78 @ 0.2 % with sticker sandovit @ 0.06% sprayed at 10 days intervals effectively control the colletotrichum blight or twister disease (Colletotrichum gloesporioides).

The sequential spray of fungicides in combination with insecticides (Mancozeb @ 0.25% methomyl @ 0.8 g/l, propiconazale @ 0.1% + conbosulfom @ 2ml/l, copperoxyahlorids @ 0.25% + profanes @ 1ml/l) at is days interval is recommended to reduce the disease intensity and enhanced the bulb yield under Nashik condition of Maharashtra while under Karnal conditions of Haryana, sequential sprays of mancozeb @ 0.25% + methomyl @ 0.8g/l, trytydazola  @ 0.1% + conbosulfam @2ml/l huxaconazole  @ 0.1% + profmas  @ 1ml/l at 15 days interval is recommended for reducing  the disease and increasing the bulb yield.

Bulb rot

Spraying of Streptocycline @ 0.02% (200 ppm) at 10-15 days before harvesting is recommended for the control of bacterial brown rot in onion. Application of  Trichoderma viride/T.harzianum @ 5 kg/ha or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 5kg/ha in the soil before planting of seedlings is  recommended for the management of basal rot (Fusarium oxysporum) and white rot (Sclerotium rolfsii) of onion. 

Foliar diseases of onion seed crop

Six sprays of Mancozeb @ 0.25% + Monocrotophos @ 0.05% at 15 days intervals proved best for the control of purple blotch and stemphylium blight as well as thrips in onion seed crop. Bulb dip in copper oxyehlride  @ 0.3% and drenching of copper oxyehlride  @ 0.3% at 30 DAP and falion sprays of conbudazim @ 0.1% at 60 DAP, propriconazde  @ 0.1% at 75 DAP and mancozeb @ 0.25% at 90 DAP is recommended for reducing bulb ratios and higher seed yield.

Management of thrips

Nursery: - The spray of deltamethrin 2.8% EC @ 0.095% reduced the thrips population in onion nuesery.

Onion bulb crop: - Foliar sprays of profenofos 50% EC @ 0.1% at 15 days interval (4 sprays) or 3 sprays of fipronil 5% SC @ 0.15% at 15 days interval or 4 spray of deltamethrin 2.8 EC @ 0.095% at 15 days interval or 6 sprays of spinosad 45% SC @ 0.1% at weekly interval along with sticker @ 0.06% considerably reduced the thrips population and increased the yield. Transplanting of onion with border of maize and one line in center in plot size of 3.6m x 1.8m performed better in minimizing thrips population and giving higher yield in Karnal area of Haryana.

The sequential spray of insecticides vig. acetamitrid @ 0.01%, alfamethrin @  0.15%, combosulfam @ 0.2%, fipronil @ 0.1%  is recommended at Nashik while earbosalfan @ 0.2%, lambdacyhalothrin @ 0.15%, aectarnilrid @ 0.01%, alfamethrin @ 0.15% controlling trips population and higher yield of bulbs is  recommended for

Onion seed crop: - Drenching of chloropyriphos in soil, control the onion maggots. Spray of deltamethrin 2.8% EC @ 0.095% or Fipronil 5% EC @ 0.1% before flowering of onion and spray of spinosad 45% EC @ 0.1%  or Azadirachtin 1500 ppm @ 5 ml / litre recommended for controlling thrips population as well as in managing borers.  

Post Harvesting Technology

Post harvest losses in onion and garlic are remarkable which could be reduced considerably by adopting appropriate post-harvest management practices. The NHRDF has developed technologies for bringing down the losses in onion as well as garlic.

Withholding irrigation at 10 – 15 days before harvesting and harvesting at one week after 50% top fall are recommended to reduce post – harvest losses in onion. Application of Maleic Hydrazide @ 2000-2500 ppm is recommended to reduce storage losses during kharif season. Windrow curing of bulbs till complete drying of tops (foliage) and cutting of tops leaving 2.5 cm neck above the bulbs followed by shade curing for 10-15 days before storage reduces the losses and recommended to the farmers.  Artificial curing of onion bulbs in curing chamber with full load at 350C temperature and velocity of air flow at 3.2m/s cured the bulbs in 16 hours and recommended for adaptation to farmers.

The improved onion storage structures designed and developed by NHRDF having ventilation from all sides including bottom are recommended for adaptation to reduce post harvest losses. These structures are of 5,10,20,25 and 50 MT capacity suitable for farmers to hold stocks and avoid distress sale. The 5 ton capacity godown is single tier structure have 3.75 m length and 1.5 m with 2 cubicles of 1.88 x 1.5 x 1.5 m size, while 10 t capacity structure have 7.5 m length and 1.5 m with 4 cubicles of 1.88 x 1.5 x 1.5 m size suitable for farmers cultivating less than one acre area and one acre area, respectively. The 15 ton capacity godown is also single row structure with 6 cubicles having 11.25 cm length and 1.5 m width while 20 ton capacity godown is double row structure with passage of 1.2 m between 2 rows to facilitate filling and unloading of bulbs and also sufficient aeration from all sides. These godowns are suitable for farmers cultivating onion on 2 acre and 1 hectare area, respectively. The 25 MT capacity structure is of more permanent nature, suitable for medium farmers and onion storage is done in cubicles arranged in 2 rows with 1.2 m wide passage between 2 rows, however, as most of the farmers cultivate onion in more than one hectare area, 50 ton capacity structures are more popular, which has two rows structure with 1.2 m wide passage between 2 rows and have total length of 18.75 m, width 1.25 m where piling height is maintain for better storage of bulbs.

Seed Technology

Highest seed yield was obtained when 4.5 to 6.5 cm diameter bulbs were planted on 15th October at the spacing of 30 cm x 30 cm at Karnal whereas at Nashik 20th October planting was found best and economical. Dipping onion bulbs in 1% potassium nitrate and 0.1% Carbendazim before planting for seed crop in kharif season and dipping in 0.1% Carbendazim in rabi season are effective for getting higher seed yield. Drip irrigation with wheat or paddy straw mulching has been recommended for effective weed management and getting higher seed yield.  Irrigation interval of 10 days throughout the cropping period or 12 days up to 60 days and at 8 days after 60 days and nitrogen @ 80-120 kg ha-1 gave highest seed yield of onion variety Agrifound Dark Red at Nashik. Nitrogen 80 kg ha-1 and irrigation frequency at ten days interval gave highest seed yield of onion variety Agrifound Light Red. Nitrogen 100 -120 kg ha-1 and 30 cm x 30 cm spacing recommended for highest seed yield of Agrifound Dark Red variety of onion under Sinnar, Nashik (Maharashtra) condition. Weedicide Pendimethalin @ 3.5 lit   ha-1 + one hand weeding at 45 days gave good control of weeds and maximum seed yield of onion variety Agrifound Light Red under Sinnar (Nashik) condition. Organic package of FYM @ 50 t ha-1 or vermicompost @ 3 t ha-1 + Neem cake  @ 1t ha-1 + T. viride @ 2500 g ha-1 before planting + Azotobactor @ 12.5g ha-1 + PSB @ 12.5 kg ha-1 +  Yorker (Pacelomyes) @ 125 kg ha-1 at planting and spraying of Azadirachtin @ 0.15% at 15,30,60290 DAP and  T. viride at 45, 75 and 105 days after planting can be used for seed production of onion variety Agrifound Dark Red and Agrifound Light Red under Nashik conditions of Maharashtra. Spraying of sodium phosphate @ 50 ppm at 30, 45 and 60 days after planting of Agrifound Light Red seed crop increased seed yield by 37 % at Nashik. Use of paddy straws as mulch in seed crop with drip irrigation increases seed yield by 42 % in onion Agrifound Dark Red with higher net return.

Hydration and dehydration treatments have been recommended for increasing the germination in onion seed. Onion Agrifound Dark Red seed coated with DAP+ZnS04+Bavistin as well as with DAP + Borax +Trichoderma and sown in July and harvesting in November gives highest gross yield (150.0 q/ha). Priming of onion seed of variety Agrifound Dark Red with 200 ppm potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate enhanced the germination percentage upto 20 days after priming and reduced thereafter during kharif season.