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Pioneering the Future

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Crop Guide: Onion

    Suggested fertilization programs for onion

 

The holistic approach of Haifa for plant nutrition offers the growers diverse options for enhancing the plant performance and fertilizer use efficiency.

In Haifa's plant nutrition approach, the fertilization program takes in consideration alternative fertilizer formulas and alternative application methods (fertigation only, fertigation + foliar, fertigation + controlled release fertilizer or controlled release fertilizer only) for each growth stage and for different environmental conditions to match the plant's nutrition special needs.

These fertilization programs take into consideration:

 

  • The plant uptake curve for each elements (macro, secondary and micronutrients) for each plant growth stage.

 

  • The best application method for each plant growth stage and for every environmental and climate conditions (the methods can be fertigation only, fertigation + foliar, fertigation + controlled release fertilizer, controlled release fertilizer only)

 

  • Alternative fertilizer formulas or application methods for different conditions that may occur during the growth cycle such as unpredictable climate conditions (drought or extreme temperature) and plant diseases that will damage roots absorption or the leaf's activity.

Special foliar fertilizers with prolonged and better action can be added to the fertilization programs to improve the root uptake and boost plant performance, as part of the overall nutritional program.

 

The main programs for onion are:

  1. Base and side dressing - Simple and basic program where fertigation cannot be use.
  2. Base application with controlled release fertilizer (Multicote) + side dressing - for better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and less soil compaction.
  3. Fertigation using straight fertilizers + side dressing - for better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and soil compaction.
  4. Base dressing with Haifa Turbo-K and fertigation using Poly-Feed (NPK soluble fertilizer) - precise nutrient formula application, better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and less soil compaction.
  5. Base dressing with controlled release fertilizer (Multicote) and fertigation for precise nutrient application rate with precise nutrient formula (Poly-Feed).
  6. Complementary foliar nutrition - To enhance plant performance during periods of special needs (nutrients disorders or abiotic stress)

 

 

Basic assumptions for the following fertilization programs:

Growing medium: Open field.
Soil type: Light to medium.
Expected yield: 65 MT/Ha (85% moisture).

 

Kilograms of macro nutrients removed by 1 ton marketable product

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

S

3.0-4.0

1.3-1.8

2.5-5

1.0

0.5

1.8-2.8

 

 

Examples of 5 detailed Fertilization programs for onion:

 

Option 1. Base and side dressing - Simple and basic program where fertigation cannot be use.

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Haifa Turbo-K™ 15-15-15

400

300

 

 

 

 

Haifa MAP™ 11-52-0

235

 

 

 

 

 

Haifa K-Mag 0-0-22+18MgO +22 SO3

250

 

 

 

250

 

Dolomite 26%

254

 

 

 

 

 

Urea 46-0-0

 

 

 

 

226

 

Total nutrients  (kg/ha)

N

862

45

 

 

104

 

P2O5

122

 

 

 

 

 

K2O

60

45

 

 

55

 

MgO

30

 

 

 

30

 

CaO

66

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total nutrients (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

235

122

215

60

66

 

* In soil with high phosphorus levels use Haifa Turbo-K™ 18-09-18

 

 

Option 2. Base application with controlled release fertilizer (Multicote) + side dressing - for better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and less soil compaction.

Due to the high nutrients use efficiency with Multicote™, application rates can be reduced to about 70% of the N and K2O compared to conventional fertilization.

 

 

Application rate - % of common practice

% coated nutrients

 

N

P2O5

K2O

N

P2O5

K2O

Light soil

60-70

100

70

70

-

30-50

Heavy soil

70-90

100

80

50

-

30-50

 

 

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Multicote™ Agri 15-15-15

1000

 

 

 

 

 

Dolomite 26%

250

 

 

250

 

 

Multi-K™ 13-0-46

 

 

 

100

 

 

Total nutrients  (kg/ha)

N

150

 

 

13

 

 

P2O5

150

 

 

 

 

 

K2O

150

 

 

45

 

 

MgO

25

 

 

25

 

 

CaO

65

 

 

65

 

 

 

Total nutrients (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

 

163

150

195

50

130

 

                       

 

 

Option 3. Fertigation using straight fertilizers + side dressing - for better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and  less soil compaction.

 

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Multi-K™ 13-0-46

 

100

140

140

170

 

Haifa MAP™ 11-52-0

 

75

50

50

50

 

Magnisal™ 11-0-0+16MgO

 

34

68

68

90

 

Haifa Cal™  11-0-0+26CaO

 

50

50

75

75

 

Ammonium Nitrate 34-0-0

 

25

25

50

50

 

Total nutrients  (kg/ha)

N

 

42

48

48

66

 

P2O5

 

46

31

31

31

 

K2O

 

46

64

64

78

 

MgO

 

5

11

11

14

 

CaO

 

13

13

13

20

 

 

Total nutrients (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

204

139

252

41

59

 

 

Option 4. Fertigation  using Poly-Feed (NPK soluble fertilizer) - precise nutrient formula application, better nutrient use efficiency, saving application costs and less soil compaction.

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Poly-Feed™ 12-43-12

 

45

 

 

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 19-19-19

 

 

240

 

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 14-7-21

 

 

 

300

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 12-5-40

 

 

 

 

675

 

Magnisal™ 11-0-0+16MgO

 

 

60

60

110

 

Haifa Cal™  11-0-0+26CaO

 

 

60

60

110

 

Total nutrients  (kg/ha)

N

 

5

61

58

110

 

P2O5

 

19

46

21

34

 

K2O

 

5

46

63

270

 

MgO

 

 

10

10

18

 

CaO

 

 

16

16

29

 

 

Total nutrients (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

234

120

384

38

61

 

 

Option 5. Base dressing with controlled release fertilizer (Multicote) and fertigation for precise nutrient application rate with precise nutrient formula (Poly-Feed).

Due to the high fertilizing efficiency of the Multicote™, the application rate will be only ~70% of the N and K2O common application practice:

 

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Multicote™ Agri 15-15-15

300

 

 

 

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 19-19-19

 

100

 

 

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 14-7-21

 

 

100

150

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 12-5-40

 

 

 

 

600

 

Magnisal™ 11-0-0+16MgO

 

60

60

60

90

 

Haifa Cal™  11-0-0+26CaO

 

60

60

60

90

 

Total nutrients  (kg/ha)

N

45

35

30

37

95

 

P2O5

45

19

7

11

30

 

K2O

45

19

21

32

240

 

MgO

 

10

10

10

14

 

CaO

 

16

10

16

24

 

Total nutrients (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

MgO

CaO

242

112

357

44

72

 

 

Complementary foliar nutrition - To enhance plant performance during periods of special needs (nutrients disorders or abiotic stress)

Foliar application of nutrients provides complementary fertilization with high added value, corrective nutrition when deficiencies are noticed and growth boosting during critical stages of the crop development. This foliar nutrition program can be added to all fertilization programs.

 

Stage description

Pre-plant

Establishment

Vegetative growth

Bulb initiation

Bulb development

Maturation

duration

 

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

Fertilizers (kg/ha)

Poly-Feed™ 20-20-20

 

1 kg/ha, conc. 0.5%

1.5 kg/ha, conc. 0.5%

 

 

 

Magnisal™ 11-0-0+16MgO

 

 

 

2 kg/ha, conc. 1%

2 kg/ha, conc. 1%

 

Haifa Bonus™

 

 

 

5 kg/ha, conc. 2%

5 kg/ha, conc. 2%

 

 

 

Proven Results

 

  1. Multicote™ Agri trial in Israel , 2016

 

  •  

 

  •  

Rate (kg/ha)

N rate (kg/ha)

% N of common practice

Control - No fertilization

  •  
  •  
  •  

 

Common practice

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Hi

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Med

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Lo

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

 

The common practice fertilization was applied by base dressing + 10 top dressings

Multicote™ Agri treatments were applied by single application

 

 

 

 

Fertilizer cost $/ha

Application cost

  •  

Total cost

  •  

Common practice

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Hi

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Med

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Multicote™ Agri Lo

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

 

  • All Multicote Agri treatments resulted in higher yields compared to the farmers practice.
  • The Multicote™Agri 50% N treatment was the most profitable treatment.

 

 

 

  1. Multicote™ Agri trial in Mexico, 2007-2008  

Location: INIFAD research center

Plot wat irrigated by flooding onion in

 

Treatment no.

Rate (kg/ha)

% CRF

Yield (ton/ha)

N

K2O

N

K2O

Total

Jumbo

Large

Medium

Small

T1

0

0

0

0

28.15d

8.64

56.66

29.03

5.72

T2

100

100

50

30

52.69c

26.31

49.18

22.99

1.55

T3

100

100

30

30

49.96c

19.96

52.93

25.44

1.66

T4

140

140

50

30

57.71ab

24.91

49.70

23.70

1.68

T5

140

140

30

30

61.78a

17.42

61.48

20.41

0.68

T6 (conventional)

200

200

0

0

53.33bc

20.44

52.61

24.47

2.48

DSH (0.05)

 

 

 

 

4.5

 

 

 

 

CV (%)

 

 

 

 

4.0

 

 

 

 

 

Economic analysis ($/ha)

Treatment no.

Total income

Variable costs

Total costs

Net income

Benefit: cost ratio

T1

33503

0

30000

3503

0.12

T2

67069

4325

34325

32744

0.95

T3

62353

3824

33824

28711

0.85

T4

73111

5787

35784

37324

1.04

T5

78389

5085

35085

43304

1.23

T6 (conventional)

66674

3940

33940

32734

0.96

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions: This trial in flooded onion field proved the following:

 The CRF treatment gave more yield, more dry matter and better absorption of N.P.K .

Net income obtained with CRF treatments was higher than conventional and control treatments.

 

3. Multicote™  Agri trials in commercial farms, Mexico

 

  1. Las Adelinas farm

Location: Abasolo, Guanajuato state, Mexico.

Variety: Cirrus, area : 4.4 ha

Sowing: 17-18/8/2009, Harvest : 15/12/2009

 

Farmer's practice

Fertilizer

Rate (kg/ha)

Total nutrients applied (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Base 13-18-20

500

67

92

100

 

 

Fertigation

 

233

39

256

72

36

Total

 

300

131

356

72

36

 

Haifa treatment

Fertilizer

Rate (kg/ha)

Total nutrients applied (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Base: Multicote™ Agri (4) 21-17-17

553

117

92

94

 

 

Fertigation

 

94

40

153

72

36

Total

 

211

132

248

72

36

 

Yield results (MT/ha)

Treatment

Total yield

Bulb size

rejected

small

medium

large

XL

Farmer's practice

56.98

2.34

10.51

31.54

11.45

1.14

Multicote™ Agri

63.30

2.53

5.06

27.85

24.05

3.80

 

 

  1. El Palomar farm

Location: Abasolo, Guanajuato, Mexico

Variety: Carta Blanca, area: 8 ha.

Sowing: August 2010, Harvest: January  2011.

 

Farmer's practice

Fertilizer

Rate (kg/ha)

Total nutrients applied (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Base 13-18-20

500

67

92

100

 

 

Fertigation

 

233

28

250

60

15

Total

 

300

120

350

60

15

 

Haifa treatment

Fertilizer

Rate (kg/ha)

Total nutrients applied (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Base: Multicote™ Agri (4) 21-17-17

553

117

92

94

 

 

Fertigation

 

94

40

153

72

36

Total

 

211

132

248

72

36

 


 

 

 

Yield results (MT/ha)

Treatment

Total yield

Bulb size

rejected

small

medium

large

XL

Farmer's practice

78.11

11.26

2.73

17.40

33.09

13.64

Multicote™ Agri

87.61

8.60

4.30

23.86

39.50

11.34


 

 

  1. Spring Onion trial in Australia

Grower's practice

Fertilizer

No of applications

Kg/ha

Cost of application

Total

N

P2O5

K2O

Granular 12-11.4-18

1 base

800

96

91.2

144

11.7

Granular 20-0-19

2 top

800

160

0

152

23.4

SOP

1 top

800

0

0

416

 

Total

4

2400

256

91.2

712

 

 

Haifa treatment

Fertilizer

No of applications

Kg/ha

Total

N

P2O5

K2O

Multicote™ Agri (4) 13.5-4.5-36.5

1 base

1140

153.9

51.3

416.1

 

 

 

Yields and profitability (after 14 weeks)

 

Grower's practice

Multicote™ Agri

Difference

Yield(covers/plot)

140

162

22

Covers /ha

17,724

20,509

2,785

Profitability US$/ plot

595.1

688.7

93.6

US$/ha

75,345

87,195

11,850

Cover = 10 bunches

Plots = 79 X1 m, 4 rows per plot

126.6 plots /ha. Cover estimated price: 4.251 us$

 

     

 

 

Conclusions: Multicote™ Agri treatment resulted in

  • Higher uniformity -  plants with the same color
  • Greater weight per bunch, higher total returns
  • Labor saving
  • Less harm caused by machinery

 

 

Foliar nutrition trial, Mexico

Location: Pénjamo, Guanajuato

Variety: Cal-214, area : 1.5 ha.

Sowing: 14/10/2009.

 

#

Treatment

Spray concentration

No. of applications

Time interval between applications

1

Haifa Bonus™ Lo

2%

2

15 days

2

Haifa Bonus™ Med

4%

2

15 days

3

Haifa Bonus™ Hi

6%

1

 

4

Control

0

0

 

5

Conventional

 

 

 

 


 

 

Foliar nutrition trial, Peru

Foliar Application of  Poly-Feed™ and Haifa Bonus™ npK in red Onion  Arequipeña type , 

Santa Rita zone -  Arequipa – Fundo América - 2010:

 

Size

Poly-Feed™

1%

Poly-Feed™ 2%

Haifa Bonus™ 1%

Haifa Bonus™ 2%

Control

Paneton

8.0

5.9

11.0

6.2

5.01

Primera

23.8

18.25

27.0

22.5

18.24

Segunda

3.0

3.85

3.65

2.98

4.98

Floreada

22.0

19.95

15.1

15.7

13.6

Total

56.8

47.95

56.75

47.38

41.83

Yield kg/ha

63,108

53,275

63,053

52,637

46,479

 

 

Poly-Feed™ 12-6-40+ME

Haifa Bonus™ 13-2-44

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

  • Boyhan and Kelly. Onion production guide. The University of Georgia, 2008.
  • Conn et al. "Onion Disease Guide." Seminis, 2012.
  • FAO. Crop Water Information: Onion. 2015. http://www.fao.org/nr/water/cropinfo_onions.html.
  • FAOSTAT. FAOSTAT. n.d. http://faostat3.fao.org/home/E  (accessed 2016).
  • Onions Australia. Onions Australia. 2016. http://www.onionsaustralia.org.au/index.htm  (accessed 2016).
  • Oregon state university. "Nutrient Management for Onions in the Pacific Northwest." 2001.
  • Phill Sinclair. "The botany of onions." Australian Onion Grower, Vol. 5, 1988.
  • Shannon and Grieve. 1999. Tolerance of vegetable crops to salinity, U.S. Salinity Laboratory Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
  • Thangasamy, 2016, 4R Nutrient Management for Onion in India
  • UC Davis. ONION Leaf Analysis Guide for Diagnosing Crop Nutrient Status. http://vric.ucdavis.edu/veg_info/onion_leaf_analysis.htm  (accessed 2016).
  • University of Georgia. "Onion production guide." 2007