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Patil, Dr.R.S | More, Dr.T.A | Warade, Dr.S.D | Pawar, Dr.V.S | Kadlag, Dr.A.D
Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri-413 722.

The present research entitled, "Studies on integrated approach for improvement of marketable bulb yield and keeping quality of kharif onions" was undertaken in two parts basically for improvement of productivity of kharif onion, which is a peculiarity of Maharashtra state. The experimental trials were conducted during years 2001 and 2002 at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri. In first experiment, effect of variety and planting date was evaluated on crop growth, bulb yield and storage parameters under FRBD design where total eight onion genotypes (6 promising selections and 2 check cultivars) and four monthly planting dates (July, August, September and October) were involved with two replications. Pooled data revealed that factor variety recorded significant results in all characters under study except bulb diameter. Thus, distinct varietal differences were recorded. Based on vegetative growth and maturity, onion genotypes were classified in three groups i.e. dwarf and early (cvs. S-l, S-2 and S-3), moderate (cvs. M-9 and M-l 1) and vigorous and late (cvs. RHR-154, Baswant-780 andN-53). The genotype, S-l (i.e. Phule Samarth) was identified as the most suitable variety for all four planting dates inclusive of two earlier planting dates (i.e. July and August) of regular kharif season and two latter dates (i.e. September and October) of late kharif {rangda) one. Onion cv. Phule Samarth showed significantly dwarf plant growth (44.15 cm), resistant against premature bolting (1.93%), attainment of physiological maturity with occurrence of natural topfall (63.75%) at bulb harvest, rapid bulb development (4.28 bulb to foliage top ratio), an early maturity (81.26 days), thin bulb neck (0.98 cm), good bulb weight (91.35 g) and significantly highest total bulb yield (376.33 q/ha) and marketable bulb yield (84.94%). Furthermore, cv. Phule Samarth exhibited excellent keeping quality and significantly lower sprouting (0.23%), rotting (0.0%), PLW (21.94%)) and total (22.18%) losses during three months storage. Second factor planting date, recorded significant results for characters premature bolting, days to maturity, natural topfall, bulb weight, total and marketable bulb yield and sprouting and rotting losses during storage. As planting date advanced, significant increase in premature bolting and days to maturity was recorded. The significantly highest total yield (324.42 q/ha) and marketable yield (81.64%) was recorded in September plantation, it was followed by August plantation (321.44 q/ha and 80.38%>, respectively). The significantly lower storage losses were recorded for sprouting in August (3.97%>) and for rotting in September (1.63%). Interaction effect of variety x planting date revealed that significant results were obtained in premature bolting, days to maturity, natural top fall and total bulb yield. Significantly lower premature bolting was recorded by treatment combination of cv. S-l in September (0.50%) while significantly higher with cv. N-53 with October plantation (20.62%). The most early maturity was recorded by combination of cv. S-l planted in July (76.06 days) while late in cv. N-53 in October (124.75 days). Significantly higher natural topfall was recorded by cv. S-l in July (65.31%) while minimum with N-53 with October plantation (14.22%). The significantly highest total bulb yield was recorded by treatment combination of cv. S-l planted in September (395.66 q/ha) which was at par with cv. S-l planting in August (386.66 q/ha). While significantly lower bulb yield was recorded by cv. N-53 planted in October (237.66 q/ha). Thus, it was concluded that cv. Phule Samarth (S-l) was identified as the most dormant variety suitable for kharif and late kharif seasons while August and September were the best planting dates for kharif and late kharif season, respectively. Furthermore, it was concluded that cultivation of N-53 should be discouraged for kharif cultivation owing to its poor yield potential and inferior keeping quality. The second experiment was undertaken to study integrated approach of four factors i.e. suitable variety, organic manure, application of biofertilizers (VAM, Azospirillum and PSB) and growth substances (Tricantanol 2* Op ppm at 40 DAT and Chloramequat chloride 500 ppm at 70 DAT). The two levels of four factors were studied in "Partial Confounding Design" with four replications. In factor, variety; two distinct genotypes i.e. Phule Samarth i.e. S-l (dwarf and early) and Baswant-780 (vigorous and late) were involved while two sources of organic manure i.e. FYM and oil cake manure (OCM) were attempted. For biofertilizers and growth substances effect of with and without application was evaluated. A separate experiment was conducted for regular and late kharif season and two years data was pooled. The observations were recorded on nutrient uptake, plant growth, bulb yield, biochemical content and storage parameters. Among the first factor, variety cv. Baswant-780 recorded significantly vigorous growth (e.g. plant height and number of leaves) over cv. Phule Samarth during both seasons i.e. kharif and late kharif. However, in rest of characters i.e. lower premature bolting and twin bulbs, higher bulb to top ratio, total and marketable bulb yields; cv. Phule Samarth found significantly superior over cv. Baswant-780 during both seasons. Thus, irrespective of other factors, distinct morphological characters were displayed by two onion cultivars. In nutrient uptake studies, cv. Phule Samarth recorded significantly higher nitrogen uptake during kharif season (242 kg/ha) while cv. Baswant-780 during rangda season (241 kg/ha). While phosphorus uptake was significantly higher in cv. Baswant-780 during kharif season (78 kg/ha) while it was by cv. Phule Samarth during rangda (79 kg/ha). However, potash uptake in both seasons was significantly more by cv. Phule Samarth (289 and 254 kg/ha in kharifand rangda, respectively) than cv. Baswant-780 (266 and 245 kg/ha, respectively). Regarding biochemical contents, significant differences were found where cv. Phule Samarth recorded lower reducing sugar, higher non-reducing sugar and dry matter than cv. Baswant-780 during both seasons. However, TSS content was non-significantly recorded between two onion cultivars. In storage studies, cv. Phule Samarth recorded significantly lower storage losses (i.e. rotting, sprouting, PLW and total loss) than cv. Baswant-780 during both seasons and thus cv. Phule Samarth exhibited good keeping quality for kharif onion cultivation. Among second factor, organic manure, eventhough significant differences observed in most of characters, the differences were narrow ranged. The FYM displayed significantly superiority over oil cake manure (OCM) during both seasons for the characters plant height, number of leaves, marketable and total bulb yields, reducing sugar, non-reducing sugar, sprouting losses, PLW and total losses. Furthermore, FYM showed significant superiority over OCM especially during kharif season for characters premature bolting, bulb to top ratio, twin bulbs, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake, TSS and dry matter content. However, OCM found significantly superior over FYM particularly during late kharif season for characters; premature bolting and potash uptake. While OCM showed superiority during kharif season for nitrogen uptake and TSS content. Among third factor, biofertilizer; distinctive results were noticed during both seasons for most of characters when application of biofertilizers recorded significant superiority over control e.g. premature bolting, bulb to top ratio, marketable and total bulb yields, twin bulbs, N, P and K uptake, reducing and non-reducing sugar, TSS and dry matter content and all four storage losses (i.e. sprouting, rotting, PLW and total loss). Thus, application of biofertilizers demonstrated clear-cut advantage for kharif and late kharif onion cultivation. Among fourth factor, growth substances; more or less similar trend was observed as that of biofertilizer where application of growth substances recorded significantly superiority over control during both seasons for characters like plant height, bulb to top weight ratio, marketable and total bulb yield, N, P and K uptake, reducing and non-reducing sugar content, TSS and dry matter content and for three storage losses (i.e. rotting, PLW and total loss). Hence, application of growth substances should also be promoted for kharif and late kharifonion cultivation.


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