The National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), Sangvi, has developed a dark red onion variety suitable for growing during Rabi season.

The variety named Nhrdf-red (L-28) has been tested all over the country through the All India Coordinated Vegetable Research Project and the Central Variety Release Committee, Ministry of Agriculture, and approved it for cultivation in the Northern, Central and Western zones. The institute has also developed practices for its cultivation.

Reasons for popularity

It is popular because of its higher yield, attractive dark red colour of bulbs and better storage performance, suitable for Rabi season and recommended for farming in Northern, Central and Western India.

It matures in 115-120 days after transplanting and average yield is about 25 to 30 tonnes per hectare.

Seeds are generally sown in raised nursery beds (15–22 cm height) for transplanting in the main field. October-November is the best time for seed sowing. Sowing should be done in lines in proper spacing at 5-7 cm row distance. Before sowing, seeds should be treated with 2.0 gms of thiram per kg of seeds to avoid infestations. Application of 20-25 tonnes of FYM/ha in soil is considered adequate. A dose of NPK (100:50:50 kg/ha) can be applied for better bulb development.

Fertilizer application

Whole quantity of phosphorus, potash and half of nitrogen should be mixed in the soil before transplanting. Rest half doses of nitrogen should be given as top dressing in two equal split doses, first dose at 30 days after transplanting and second dose at 45 days after transplanting.

The top dressing must be completed before initiation of bulbing. 7-8 weeks old seedlings are recommended for transplanting in main field. The best time of transplanting in Northern and Eastern India is end of December to first week of January.

About 12-15 irrigations, 3.5 lit of stomp per hectare applied three days after transplanting and one hand weeding at 45 days gives better results.

(R. P. Gupta, Director & R. K. Singh, Assistant Director (Hort), NHRDF, Chitegaon Phata, Darna Sangvi post , Nashik, Maharashtra, Email: nhrdf_nsk@sancharnet.in, phones: 02550-237551 and 237816.)