The Dirty Work: Red Onion Case Study

Nov 12, 2015
BioFlora Works to Fight Pathogens in Red Onion Field

The red onion is a very popular vegetable due to its pungent bulbs and flavorful leaves. There are a variety of cultivars ranging from sweet to strong with colors that vary from red, brown, yellow and white. A red onion crop can be grown on any fertile, well-drained, non-crusting soil, though alkaline soils are preferred for maximum growth.

This vegetable can be sown by direct seeding, transplants or through transplanting sets. Even though red onions utilize substantial amounts of nutrients, a common problem is over-fertilization, which can lead to more complicated issues such as soft bulbs, susceptibility to disease, and environmental damage.

Case Study 1

The purpose of this trial was to determine if adding the BioFlora® product Humega® to a conventional fertilizer program would help to reduce or eliminate the incidence of the common plant disease, Sclerotinia sclerotorium, in the crops’ production. The trial was carried out in Samanga, Abato, Ecuador.

Humega is an organic, biologically active humic acid which facilitates soil tilth and boosts microbial activity. We utilize a proprietary extraction process that is unique to BioFlora, which aids in our approach to maximize the microbiologicaly integrity of the humic acids we procure.

Our Method

In this trial, the BioFlora test field was pre-irrigated with Humega prior to planting. Following this, four subsequent applications of Humega were added to the drench irrigation system every two weeks. Rates of Humega varied per individual application.

The grower used a conventional fertilizer program based on the usage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on the control field. Rates of applications and specific NPK products were not disclosed.

Our Results

The results showed that the control field had a high infestation of Sclerotinia sclerotorium, calculated to be over 70% of its production. On the other hand, the BioFlora treated field had a reduced infestation rate of approximately 0.008%. A total of 25,000 red onions were tested in this trial.

This trial also showed that the application of Humega, along with other BioFlora products, have been found to reduce the normal fertilizer applications of NPK by approximately 50%, while still increasing yields and reducing or eliminating the incidence of disease in the treated crop.

red onion roots
Control field, with visible infestation of the plant disease Sclerotinia sclerotorium.
red onion bunch
BioFlora field with no visible infestation of the plant disease Sclerotinia sclerotorium.

 

About BioFlora

BioFlora was founded in 1972 with a goal to conceptualize, develop, manufacture, market, and deliver a proprietary product line to the agricultural community. Through our innovative products and programs, we provide solutions to our customers in both domestic and international markets. Today, we have over 30 unique proprietary products that benefit growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our organic and sustainable agricultural programs maximize the efficacy and efficiency of traditional agricultural inputs, while being mindful of their environmental impact.