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Irrigation for Onion Cultivation

Irrigation for Onion Cultivation

Onion is shallow-rooted crop. Its root system is normally restricted to top 3 cm and roots penetrate seldom deeper (15 cm). The water requirement of its crop at initial growth is less. It depends on crop growth, soil type and planting season.

One irrigation is necessary immediately after transplanting particularly in rainy season in Northern India where temperature at the time of transplanting is very high. Wherever, there is erratic power supply in rainy season, transplanting is recommended 8 hours after irrigation particularly in Karnal area. In kharif season depending upon the rains 8-10 irrigations are enough. Late-kharif crop requires 12-15 irrigations while in rabi seasons 15-20 irrigations are given. At bulb formation, irrigation is necessary and moisture stress at this stage results in low yield. The field should not be kept dry for long which otherwise results in splitting and also force maturity. Frequent and light irrigation at weekly intervals in general (2 acre inch per irrigation) results in good bulb development and increase in yield. Sprinkler and drip irrigation methods increase onion yield significantly . Irrigation should be stopped when tops mature and start falling in rabi season. In kharif season it should be stopped 10 days before harvesting. Last irrigation 10-15 days before harvesting gives lower storage losses.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.