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Onion: Crop Stage-wise IPM

Onion: Crop Stage-wise IPM

Management Activity
Pre-sowing *
Nutrients • Before sowing, soil testing should be done to find out the soil fertility status. Nutrient should be provided as per soil test recommendations.
• Add well rotten FYM @ 10 t/acre or vermi compost @ 4 t/acre. Incorporate FYM at the time of field preparation at 2 to 3 weeks before transplanting. Vermicompost should be incorporated one week before transplanting.
Weeds • Deep ploughing during summer.
• At the time of field preparation, adopt stale seed bed technique or soil solarization to minimize the weeds menace in field.
• The boundary & bunds of the field should be free from weeds.
• Keep the nursery weeds free by manual weeding.

Soil borne pathogens, nematodes, and resting stages of insects Cultural control:
• Deep ploughing of fields during summer to control juveniles and adults of nematodes, and control the overwintering stages.
• Soil solarization: Cover the beds with polythene sheet of 45 gauge (0.45 mm) thickness for three weeks before sowing for soil solarisation which will help in reducing the soil borne pests.
Damping off Cultural control:
• Avoid excessive watering
• Use raised beds: More than 15 cm height is better for water drainage
Sowing / planting*
Nutrients Biofertilizers: Seed/seedling treatment with Azotobacter and PSB cultures @ 240 g each/acre seed/ seedling.
• Apply NPK fertilizers @ 40: 20: 40 Kg/acre. Apply 1/3 of N, entire P and 60 % K as basal dose at the time of planting.
• Based on soil test for micronutrient, the deficient micronutrient should be applied in soil at sowing / transplanting.
Weeds • In high weed infested fields, apply approved herbicides as mentioned below;
• Spray oxyflourfen 23.5% EC @ 170-340 ml in 200-300 l of water/ acre on soil as pre-plant application or quizalofop-ethyl 5% EC @ 300-400 ml 150-180 l of water/acre 20 days after planting of onion seedlings followed by one hand weeding if required.
Vegetative stage
Nutrients • Apply 1/3 of N at 21days and remaining 1/3 at 45 days after transplanting.
• Apply remaining 40 % potash as top dressing in standing crop at 21 days after transplanting.
• Micronutrient application may be made after soil test.
Weeds • The crop should be maintained weed free initially for 30-45 days by following timely intercultural and hand weeding if required.
Onion thrips Cultural control:
• Use resistant/tolerant varieties.
• Practice field sanitation.
• Avoid successive planting of garlic or other preferred/alternate host such as cabbage, cotton, tomato, cucumber, melons, pumpkins, strawberries etc.
• Plant the new crop in upwind direction of already planted crop which help in escaping infestation from old planting to some extent in the initial stages.
• Adjust the transplanting dates
• Use of reflective plastic silver colour and aluminium painted black mulches repel the thrips (seed crop)
• Use of sprinkler irrigation reduces thrips population considerably compared to drip and surface irrigation
• Plant two rows of maize or inner row of wheat and outer row of maize surrounding the onion plots as barrier crop (National Horticultural Mission 2012)
Biological control:
• Conserve parasitoids such as Ceranisus menes (nymph) etc.
• Conserve predators such as syrphid fl ies, minute pirate bug/ anthocorid bug (Blaptosthethus sp, Buchananiella whitei, Orius tantilus), praying mantis, predatory thrips (Aeolothrips fasciatum), damselbug, lacewings, coccinellids (Cheilomenes sexmaculata), spiders etc.
Chemical control:
• Spray dimethoate 30% EC @ 264 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or oxydemeton methyl 25% EC @ 480 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or quinalphos 25% EC @ 480 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or lambda cyhalothrin 5% EC @ 120 ml in 120-160 l of water/acre.
• Use high pressure and volume for good coverage of the crop and direct the nozzle at base of leaves
• Add a spreader or sticker (0.05-1.0%) for retention and spread of spray fluid on erect leaves of onion.
• In seed crop, thrips should be controlled well before flowers open.
Onion maggot Cultural control:
• Avoid close spacing while planting
• Follow crop rotation.
• Field sanitation.
Biological control:
• Conserve predators such as ground beetle, rove beetles, spiders etc. by providing grassy refuge strips.
Bulb mite Cultural control:
• Avoid planting onion after cole crops, as decaying cole crops, especially cauliflower, may harbour very high bulb mite populations in the field.
• Avoid planting successive onion or garlic crops.
• Flood irrigation reduces mite levels in the soil.
Biological control:
• Conserve predators such as anthocorid bugs (Orius spp.), mired bugs, syrphid/hover flies, green lacewings (Mallada basalis and Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi), predatory mites (Amblyseius alstoniae, A. womersleyi, A. fallacies and Phytoseiulus persimilis), predatory coccinellids (Stethorus punctillum), staphylinid beetle (Oligota spp.), predatory cecidomyiid fly (Anthrocnodax occidentalis), predatory gall midge (Feltiella minuta), spiders etc.
Eriophyid mite Cultural control:
• Flood irrigation reduces mite level in the soil.
• Avoid planting successive onion or garlic crops.
Biological control:
• Conserve predators such as anthocorid bugs (Orius spp.), mired bugs, syrphid/hover flies, green lacewings (Mallada basalis and Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi), predatory mites (Amblyseius alstoniae, A. womersleyi, A. fallacies and Phytoseiulus persimilis), predatory coccinellids (Stethorus punctillum), staphylinid beetle (Oligota spp.), predatory cecidomyiid fl y (Anthrocnodax occidentalis), predatory gall midge (Feltiella minuta), spiders etc.
Red spider mite Cultural control:
• A thorough water spray washes off the mites from the plant.
Biological control:
• Conserve and augment the natural enemies. Conserve predators such as anthocorid bugs (Orius spp.), mirid bugs, syrphid/hover flies, green lacewings (Mallada basalis and Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi), predatory mites (Amblyseius alstoniae, A. womersleyi, A. fallacies and Phytoseiulus persimilis), predatory coccinellids (Stethorus punctillum), staphylinid beetle (Oligota spp.), predatory cecidomyiid fly (Anthrocnodax occidentalis), predatory gall midge (Feltiella minuta), spiders etc.
Gram pod borer, Tobacco caterpillar** Cultural control:
• Field sanitation
• Adopt ecological engineering of onion/garlic with growing intercrops such as cowpea, maize, coriander, urdbean etc. and with growing sorghum or maize in 4 rows all around onion/garlic crop as guard crop.
• Rotate the onion crop with a non-host cereal crop, cucurbit, or cruciferous vegetable.
• Adopt ecological engineering of garlic with repellant plants: Ocimum/Basil and marigold as ovipositional trap crop.
• Erecting of bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as king crow, mynah etc.
• Install pheromone traps @ 4-5/acre for monitoring adult moth activity. Replace the lures after every 2-3 weeks
• Setting up of light trap @ 1/acre
Biological control:
• Inundatively release Tricogramma spp. T. pretiosum @ 40,000/acre 4-5 times from fl ower initiation stage at weekly intervals.
• Conserve parasitoids such as Tetrastichus spp. (egg), Telenomus spp. (egg), Campoletis chlorideae (larval) etc.
• Conserve predators such as Chrysoperla zastrowi sillemi, coccinellids, King crow, common mynah, wasp, dragonfly, spider, robber fly, reduviid bug, praying mantis, fi re ants, big eyed bugs (Geocoris sp), pentatomid bug (Eocanthecona furcellata), earwigs, ground beetles, rove beetles etc.
• Apply entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) @ 20-120 crore infective juveniles of Steinernema feltiae/acre.
Damping off Cultural control:
• Soil solarization of nursery beds with transparent polythylene sheet for 30 days before sowing provides good control.
• Continuous rising of nursery in the same plot should be avoided.
• Avoid excessive soil moisture.
• Follow crop rotation.
• Maintain proper drainage by leveling the land, and installing drains.
• Sow clean and healthy seed on raised beds.
• Overcrowding of plants or dense sowing of onion seeds should be avoided.
• Well decomposed farmyard manure should be used in nursery.
Purple blotch Cultural control:
• Use healthy seeds for planting
• Follow crop rotation 2-3 years with non-host crops
• Follow proper drainage at regular intervals
• Use the recommended doses of N and P fertilizers.
• Hot water soaking of onion seed (50 °C for 20 minutes).
• Use resistant varieties.
Chemical control:
• Spray difenaconazole 25% EC @ 40 ml in 200 l of water/acre or kitazin 48% EC @ 80 ml in 80 l of water (or as required depending upon crop stage and plant protection equipment used)/acre
Stemphylium leaf blight Cultural control:
• Field sanitation: Collect and burn crop residues
• Follow long rotations with non-host crops.
• Follow proper field drainage and reduce plant density.
• Hot water soaking of onion seed (50 °C for 20 minutes).
• Plant resistant varietieis such as Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum) lines, which are moderately resistant to stemphylium leaf blight.
Chemical control:
• Spray mancozeb 75% WP @ 600-800 g in 300 l of water/acre or zineb 75% WP @ 600-800 g in 300-400 l of water/acre or spray zineb 75% WP @ 600-800 g in 300-400 l of water/acre
Colletotrichum blight/ anthracnose/twister disease Cultural control:
• Field sanitation: Destruction of infected plant debris.
• Use of resistant varieties
Downy mildew** Cultural control:
• Select healthy bulbs for seed production.
• Follow crop rotation for 3-4 years with non-host crop.
• Crop sanitation: Dispose properly the infected crop debris and refuse heaps of onion culled from storage.
• Avoid late planting, poor drainage, higher doses of fertilizers and frequent irrigation.
• Use resistant varieties.
• Onion bulbs meant for seed crop should be exposed to sun for 12 days to destroy the fungus.
Chemical control:
• Spray zineb 75% WP @ 600-800 g in 300-400 l of water/acre
Fusarium basal rot/basal plate rot** Cultural control:
• Follow crop rotation for 4-5 years with non-host crop.
• Mixed cropping with tobacco and sorghum is effective in reducing pathogen inoculum and the disease.
• Soil solarization by using polythene sheet of 25 guage in summer season for 30 days reduces the pathogen inoculum and in turn reduces the disease.
• Follow proper drainage practices.
• Deep summer ploughing.
• Avoid injury during cultural practices.
• Flood the soil in the non-growing season for basal rot control.
• Use resistant varieties.
White rot** Cultural control:
• Use of disease free areas.
• Follow crop rotation with cereal crops.
• Hot water treatment of bulbs at 49 °C.
• Solarization of soil at high temperature i. e. 35 °C for 18 hours or 45 °C for 6 hours reduces the disease incidence by 50-70%.
Pink root rot** Cultural control:
• Follow crop rotation with cereal and green manure crops.
• Soil solarization by using polythene sheet of 25 guage in summer season for 30 days reduces the pathogen inoculum and in turn reduces the disease.
• Use resistant varieties such as Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum) lines, which are resistant to pink root.
• Soil solarization reduces pink root incidence.
• Late planting reduces disease incidence.
• Follow long rotations with non-host crop.
Black mold/green mold** Cultural control:
• Leave onions for drying in the field for two days after harvesting. These bulbs should be further dried in shade for 10-15 days before storage.
• Store seed and bulb after proper drying.
• Maintain proper aeration in the storage
• Avoid bruising of onion bulbs during harvest, storage or transport.
• Store onion at 1-15 °C.
Bacterial rots (brown rot/soft rot/slippery skin)** Cultural control:
• Grow the crop under optimum condition of tilth, fertilizer, drainage, crop rotation and free from weeds.
• Follow proper curing and rapid drying of the bulbs after harvesting.
• Affected bulbs should be discarded before storage
• Dry the crop quickly after harvest
• During rainy season, artificial curing is required.
Onion yellow dwarf disease Cultural control:
• Manage the vector population.
• Plant virus free transplants.
• Follow crop rotation of at least three years.
• Remove and destroy the diseased plants to check the spread of disease.
• Rogueing of diseased plants and isolation from other susceptible crops or volunteer onions
• Use blue sticky trap.
Biological control:
• Conserve the predators such as coccinellids, lacewings, spiders, wasps etc. for controlling thrips
Iris yellow spot disease Cultural control:
• Plant healthy seedlings free from thrips and Iris yellow spot virus.
• Follow three year or longer rotation between onion crops.
• Eliminate alternate host plants, culls, and weeds in and around onion field.
• Use sprinkler irrigation for suppression of thrips and disease.
• Avoid thin, patchy plant stands and crop stress.
Biological control:
• As in onion yellow dwarf disease.
Reproductive stage
Nutrients Cultural control:
• Apply third dose (second top dressing) of N i.e. 13.33 Kg N/acre at 60 days after transplanting.
Weeds Cultural control:
• Left over weeds before shedding of seeds should be removed to avoid further spread.
Insects and diseases Cultural control:
• Remove damaged leaves/shoot
• Follow crop rotation with cereal and green manuring crops
• Other practices same as in vegetative stage
• Insect and disease management same as in vegetative stage
Note: The pesticide dosages and spray fluid volumes are based on high volume sprayer.
* Apply Trichoderma spp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seed/seedling/planting material, nursery treatment and soil application (if commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own consumption in their fields, registration is not required).
** Pests of regional significance

Source: NIPHM and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage



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