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Introduction:

Onion (Allium cepa) also known as the bulb onion or common onion.  It is an important export-oriented crop of our country.Indian vegetable basket is incomplete without Onion. Major Onion producing states in India are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. India is the second largest onion producer country after china. It produced 15.748 million tonnes of onion in 2011-12 (Market Intelligence System Baseline Data for Onion 2011-12). Maharashtra produced 5,036.00 thousand tonnes onions (Market Intelligence System Baseline Data for Onion 2011-12).

Popular Varieties:

Arka Kalyan (average in storage), Arka Niketan (Good for storage), Agrifound Dark Red (Average in storage), Agrifound Light Red (Good for storage), Agrifound White (good in storage), L-28, N-2-4-1 (Good for storage), N-53 (Poor in storage), Baswant -780 (Average in storage), Phule Safed, Phule Suwarna (good in storage), Phule Samarth, Akola Safed , Bhima Super, Bhima Raj, Bhima Kiran, Bhima Shakti (Very good storage life), Bhima Shweta, Bhima Shubra and Bhima Dark Red.

Maturity Indices:

The time to harvest onion isWhen one-fourth to one-half of the tops of the onions have fallen down and started turning brownish. The bulbs start to show skins. Length: Green onions are dig anytime after the tops are 6 inches tall. Drying and collapse of the “neck” leaf scales. Green Top Stage: Keep in mind that this stage represents 100% soft neck and most likely 10% to 20% top down. Last Leaf: The “last leaf” emergence from the neck is a signal to the grower that the onion plant is reaching the end of the growing season. Soft Neck Stage: After full emergence of the “last leaf” the onion plant reaches the soft neck stage. The soft neck stage, it will occur in the same percentages as percent top fall. Full emergence of the Last Leaf: This step can be simply stated as the full emergence of the last leaf over the population in the field/variety.

Harvesting:

The crop is harvested when become brownish & show some skin. The green onion crop is harvested when it’s top rise more than six inches. The crop is harvested in mainly the months of September- October. But it is different in different locations. This crop is produced 2-3 times in a year. For kharif its times its harvesting time is September- October while in rabi season crops its harvesting time is April-May. This crop also produced in Early Rabi or Late kharif. Its total time is 3-4 months.

Storage & Packaging:

Onions should not be stored unless adequately dried either in the field or by artificial means. It is necessary to dry the neck tissue and outer scales until they rustle when handled otherwise the bulbs will rot in storage. Under ambient conditions the onions are stored at a temperature of 30-35°C with RH of 65-70%. In cold storage, temperature is maintained at 0-2°C while the RH is kept at 60-75%.Sprouting in onion is controlled by temperature. The temperature between 10-25°C increases sprouting. Rooting is influenced by relative humidity (RH). More the relative humidity more is rooting. Weight loss is more when temperature is above 35°C. Well-ventilated improved storage structures with racks or tiers having two or three layers of bulbs would be desirable for proper storage. For safe handling, 40 kg open mesh jute bags having 200-300 g weight should be used in domestic market. For export, common big onions are packed in 5-25 kg size open mesh jute bags. Bangalore Rose and multiplier onions are packed for export in 14-15 kg wooden baskets. Nylon net bags, when used for packing have resulted in less storage loss because of good ventilation.

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