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Shallot Yield, Quality and Shelf-life as Affected by Nitrogen Fertilizer

Tesfa, Tiru, Woldetsadik, Kebede, Bayu, Wondimu
International journal of vegetable science 2015 v.21 no.5 pp. 454-466
Allium cepa, bulbs, crop yield, cultivars, farmers, field experimentation, landraces, nitrogen fertilizers, onions, postharvest losses, shelf life, soil fertility, weight loss, Ethiopia
Shallot (Allium cepa var ascalonicum Baker) can be a substitute where bulb onion (A. cepa L. var cepa) does not do well. However, production and productivity of shallot can be limited due to poor soil fertility; lack of improved production techniques; unimproved varieties, and high post-harvest losses. Farmers in northeastern Ethiopia rarely apply fertilizers to shallot. A field study was undertaken in that region in 2007/2008 to determine effects of nitrogen fertilizer on yield and shelf-life of shallot. Treatments were 0, 50, 100, and 150 kg·ha ⁻¹ N and cvs. ‘Huruta,’ ‘Negelle,’ ‘Dz-sht-68,’ and a local landrace. Application of 150 kg·ha ⁻¹ of N increased marketable and total bulb yields by 26% over the control. The highest and the lowest marketable bulb yields were for ‘Dz-sht-68’ and the local landrace, respectively. In storage nitrogen fertilization increased bulb weight loss in all cultivars, with weight loss being highest for the local landrace. Nitrogen fertilization at 150 kg·ha ⁻¹ N increased bulb rotting up to 79% over the control. Shallot shelf-life was of short duration. Application of 100 kg·ha ⁻¹ N was optimal for shallot bulb production without affecting bulb quality.