Onions farming (Allium cepa) is one of the most lucrative agribusiness ventures any intending or existing farmer should venture into especially due to it’s high demand and high price towards and during the festive periods like Christmas, Easter and others.
it is equally one of the most consumed vegetables throughout the globe and because of which, is it also one of the most and widely grown commercial vegetable and spice crop all over the globe.
The scientific name and botanical name of onion are Allium cepa which belongs to the family “Amaryllidaceae” and to the genus “Allium”.
Onions have great market demand all over the world, especially in the international market. It can be used as vegetables in the immature stage as well as also in the mature stage, after the complete formation of the bulb.
They can be harvested before bulb formation for using as a green vegetable as well after the bulb formation to use it as a spice.
Onions are well known for their pungency, which exist because of the volatile oil which is known as the ally-propyl disulfide in them. These spicy vegetables are mostly consumed because it has excellent health benefits along with high nutrition value.
Commercial onion farming or onion cultivation is very much successful over the other crop spice and vegetable crops across the globe.
However, onions can be grown in the backyards, greenhouses, containers, pots, etc. and one can easily create a sharp and instant profit by growing onions commercially.
Growing onion is a not hard working job, but it requires good farm management should be practiced during the cultivation or growing period.
China is the top producer of onions in the world followed by India.
Health Benefits of Onions
There are plenty of health benefits of eating onions because of their high nutrition values. However, here below is a list of some of the health benefits of Onion. Learn the list:
》Onions are helpful in preventing tooth decay and also prevent us from oral infections.
》Onion also helps in improving the working of immune system and health.
》Onions are also beneficial in treating many kinds of heart-related disorders & cardiovascular diseases.
》Onions contain chromium, a rare mineral in the foods which useful in controlling sugar level in the body and also the diabetes level.
》Onion juice is also beneficial in reducing the pain induced by honey bee stings.
》Onions contain a significant amount of quercetinwhichis very powerful antioxidant in prevention and reduction of cancer to spread more.
》Onion juice is also beneficial in gives relief from acute earache problem.
》It is also the natural anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the inflammation conditions such as gout, arthritis, etc.
》It also treats cough problem.
》They are also helpful in increasing the urge of the healthy sex life.
》It corrects the iron deficiency of body since are an excellent source of minerals and vitamin, especially the iron content.
》Onions are beneficial the in the prevention of stomach cancer and breast cancer.
》They also contain vitamin C with very high content which helps in minimizing the impact and presence of free radicals.
》It also relieves us from the burning sensation occurs during urination.The E Hub.
Read Also: 9 Impressive Health Benefits of Onions
Where Onions Grow and Perfrom Better
(1) Agroclimatic Conditions for Onion Farming
Onions can be cultivated over a wider range of agroclimatic conditions and weather. Generally, this cool season vegetable crop is cultivated in the winter and is harvested completely, before the summer starts.
However, a mild season with low temp is best suitable for commercial cultivation of onion. They can be grown up to 14000 to 18000 on elevation under rainfed conditions from April to August.
However, it requires a good temp ranging from 15 ° C to 25° C during the vegetative growth and 16 ° C to 20° C during the bulb formation, along with 28 ° C to 33 ° C at the time of harvesting.
Best Soil for Onion Farming
Onion farming can be done over a wide variety of soil including sandy loam soils to clayed loam soils with the facility of good drainage. However, red loam soils to black soils, sandy loam soils, with good organic content are considered as the best suitable for onion farming for optimum production.
It also requires deep friable soil having soil pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.0 for better production. Adding organic matter at the time of land preparation is beneficial in increasing the production of bulbs in onion cultivation.
How to Grow Onions
(1) Selection of Suitable Onion Variety
There is three main category of onion variety, which is mostly used for onion cultivation. These three are red, white and yellow. But, there are many improved commercial varieties of onion, which are grown for their high yielding power, according to specific climate conditions and weather.
However, here below is a list of major onion cultivars, which are best for higher production:
Scallions Onions, Spring Onions, Vidalias Onions, Ramps Onions, Yellow Onions, White Onions, Red Onions, Shallots Onions, Pearl Onions, Cippolini Onions, Leeks Onions.
(2) Land Preparation for Onion Farming
A good land preparation in onion cultivation may multiply the yield many times and it also tells us about the suitability of soils for growing onions.
However, the soil should be brought in friable conditions and fine tilth form by giving about 4 to 5 deep ploughings. Also, it should be free from weeds any kind of extra material.
The cultivation soil should have a facility of good drainage to drained out excessive water easily. However, to increase the soil fertility and productivity of soil, add about 20 tonnes of farmyard manure at the time of the last plowing and any soil deficiency should be supplemented at this stage only. Make furrows and ridges in the prepared field.
How to Plant Onions
Way of Propagation
This vegetable spice crop is mainly propagated with the help of seeds.
Seed Rate & Seed Treatment
The seed rate in onion cultivation depends on the cultivar, soil type and planting method used for cultivation. However, on an avg, about 10 kg of seeds are needed for growing onions on one-hectare land.
The selected seed should be treated well with Azospirillum at 350 grams per each kg of seed through adhesive and dry rice gruel under shade for about 30 to 45 min and sow them directly on the field. Also, apply VAM 1 kg per sq. meters on the raised beds before sowing seeds on the field.
How to Raise Onion Seeds
Seeds are directly sown on the nursery beds having 3 to 4 m length and 1.25 m width. Usually, these seedling become ready for transplanting on the ground in about 45 days after sowing.
Onion Planting Season
Onion can be cultivated throughout the year as a Kharif season crop, late Kharif season crop, and Rabi season crop. For ‘Kharif’ season crop from June to July whereas ‘Rabi’ season crop from Oct to Nov.
Onion Planting Methods
Sowing of seeds should be done in ridges and flatbed or furrow method of planting. Generally, furrow method of planting onion is more preferred over the ridge method since higher yield is there in the furrow method. There will be also an equal sharing of water and fertilizers in this method.
Onion Planting Spacing
The row spacing in both, the furrow method and ridge method should be 10 cm X 15 cm whereas the spacing between plants should be 10 cm.
Always try to plant only 45 days older seedlings on the ground.
Irrigation in Onion Farming
First irrigation is essential at the time of transplanting of seedlings or dibbling or cloves on the ground & a light irrigation is on the 3rd day of transplantation for better germination %age.
Then after, subsequent irrigation should be done at once a week or at an interval of 10 days on the basis of soil type and climate conditions because of the shallow root system in the onions.
Usually, onions require irrigation @ water rate of 30″ at the time of growing periods. But, the water need of onion plants increases at their maturity or bulb formation because if water is not provided in sufficient quantity, bulb formation may not take properly.
However, watering should be stopped when the necks falling over begins in the field and bulb becomes mature.
However, do not give overhead irrigation since it may invite foliage diseases. The over irrigated foilage becomes unhealthy & yellowish tint in the plants whereas under watered soil becomes dry and may results in cracks.
Microirrigation and Fertilization in Onion Farming
For irrigating through drip irrigation system, operating pressure should be 1.5 kg per sq. cm whereas for micro sprinkler, operating pressure should be 2.5 kg per sq. cm.
Fertigation with drip irrigation system should be done with the help of Urea or nitrogen fertilizers. For this, apply 50 % Nitrogen as the basal dose and the remaining dose in seven different spilts at an interval of 10 days.
Application of Manure and Fertilizers in Onion Farming
Apply about 20 tonnes of farmyard manure as the basal dose at the time of land preparation along with 2 kg of Azospirillum and 2 kg of Phosphobacteria per hectare land.
Also, apply 50 kg of Nitrogen, 50 kg Zinc sulfate, 75 kg of Potassium and 150 kg of Phosphorous per hectare at the last plowing. Also, add about 50 kg of Nitrogen to the topmost soil after one month of transplanting seedlings.
Read Also: Top 20 Proven Benefits of Ginger Plant
Intercultural Activities in Onion Farming
(1) Hoeing and Weed Control
Weed control is essential for obtaining good yield or production in onion farming, if not, then it may lead to damage in onion bulbs. About 3 manual hoeing with weeding is enough for controlling weeds in the crop.
Earthing up of poor plants is also essential after 3 to 4 irrigations along with mulching. Mulching can be carried out for controlling weed and water conservation in this crop.
(2) Crop Rotation
Crop rotation in onion farming is very important. Growing soya beans in Kharif season crop followed by onion crop as a Rabi season crop is the best combination since it also improves the fertility of soil with instant and sharp returns.
(3) Pests and Diseases in Onion Farming
The following are the three main pests of onion, which are commonly observed in the onion crop:
The following are the main diseases of onion, which are commonly observed in the onion crop:
Leaf spot, Bacterial blight, White rot, Iris yellow spot, Fusarium wilt, Downy mildew, Pink root, Purple blotch.
(4) Harvesting Onions
Generally, onion bulbs attain their maturity when plants stop producing new leaves and roots which is generally identified by the neck fall. However, the harvesting of onion bulbs depends on the variety, planting season, market price, climate condition, used for onion production.
But, usually, onion bulbs are harvested when the neck fall reaches to 50 %age of the total crop since harvesting at full maturity is beneficial in higher production.
After harvesting, onions can be stored for about 6 months. So, first of all, think a place for storing them at proper place get an appropriate market rate.
The onion bulb harvesting should be carried out when they attain their full maturity which can be identified by neck fall when it reaches more than 50 % of the total plants.
However, the harvesting of onion bulbs depends on cultivar, planting season, market price, climate conditions, etc practiced during the cultivation.
Bulb harvesting at their full maturity can be stored for about more than 6 months.
(5) When to & How to Harvest Onions
Bulbs harvesting should be done manually by hand pulling bulbs from the soil. Irrigation should be stopped before two weeks of harvesting bulbs.
Onion bulbs along with the tops should be kept on the field for about 3 to 4 days and curing for about 4 days in essential to eliminate the excess moisture of the bulbs from the outmost skin and neck to minimize the shrinkage & color development in the storage.
(6) Yield in Onion Farming
The yield of onion farming depends on numbers of numbers of key factors including the soil type, climate conditions, weather, onion variety along with good farm management skills, practiced during the cultivation process.
The time of sowing also matters a lot in the yield. If it is sown as Kharif & late Kharif season crop, then about 20 to 35 tonnes of onion bulbs can be easily harvested whereas if it is cultivated as Rabi season crop, then more than 25 tonnes of bulbs can be harvested.
(7) Marketing of Onions
There is no worry more about the marketing of your produce onions. These vegetables are all time in demand in the market. They can be easily sold at any wholesales store or any retail store.
Onions are regularly asked by the people at a good market rate and can be easily sold throughout the whole year. As this crop is able to grow as three different season crop, farmers can earn sharp & instant income within a time period of 4 to 5 months.