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Current Research in Agricultural Sciences

June 2019, Volume 6, 2, pp 83-94

Optimal Rate of Nitrogen and Intra-Row Spacing for Economical Production of Onion under Irrigated Farming System in Eastern Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Alebachew Merawie

,

Melkamu Alemayehu

,

Biruk Masrie

Alebachew Merawie 1

Melkamu Alemayehu 2
Biruk Masrie 3

  1. North Wollo Zone Agriculture Department Office, Woldia, Ethiopia. 1

  2. College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. 2

  3. Woldia University, Colleges of Agriculture, Woldia, Ethiopia. 3

Pages: 83-94

DOI: 10.18488/journal.68.2019.62.83.94

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Article History:

Received: 13 February, 2019
Revised: 18 March, 2019
Accepted: 23 April, 2019
Published: 10 July, 2019


Abstract:

Onion is one of the most important cash crops produced by smallholder farmers mainly during the irrigation season. However, the productivity of onion in Amhara Region is very low which is mainly associated with improper agronomic practices. This research was therefore conducted to increase the productivity of onion by identifying the optimum rate of nitrogen and intra-row spacing for economical production of the crop in Alawuha Small-Scale Irrigation Scheme. Four rates of nitrogen (0, 41, 82, 123 kg ha-1) and three intra-row spacing (6, 8, 10 cm) in factorial combination were laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Results indicated that nitrogen and intra-row spacing significantly influenced most of the growth and phenological parameters of onion where application of 123 kg ha-1 nitrogen increased leaf number by 67.3% and prolonged days to maturity of onion by about 7 days compared to the respective control plants. Similarly, nitrogen rate and intra-row spacing significantly affected bulb yield of onion where the highest marketable bulb yield (37.48 t ha-1) was recorded by application of 123 kg ha-1 on plants spaced at 6 cm intra-row spacing which was statistically similar with those yield (35.07 t ha-1) recorded with the combination of 82 kg ha -1 nitrogen and 6 cm intra-row spacing. Application of 123 kg ha-1 nitrogen on plants spaced at 6 cm intra-row spacing is recommended for production of onion in Alawuha Small-Scale Irrigation Scheme as it recorded the highest net benefit (Eth-Birr 429,569) with relatively high marginal rate of return.
Contribution/ Originality
This study is one of very few studies which have investigated the influence of nitrogen rate and intra-row spacing on the bulb yield of onion in Amhara Region. Therefore, the findings of the present study will contribute to the improvement of production and productivity of onion in Eastern Amhara, Ethiopia.

Keywords:

Allium cepa L., Bombay red, Bulb yield, Spacing, Vegetative growth.

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Funding:

This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Acknowledgement:

The authors would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Gubalafto District Agricultural Office for providing us experimental land and labor support as well as for their follow up of the experimental activities.

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