A holistic suite of environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques produce higher, healthier yields of onions in India, while still successfully combating pests and diseases, according to new research published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management.
Researchers with the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab in Tiruchirappalli and Coimbatore, India outline these techniques in the second issue of the 2013 Journal of Integrated Pest Management.
The article details components of a “shallot module”—a set of practices that can be used together when growing shallots in order to maximize yields of healthy produce. These methods include healthy seed bulb selection, seed and soil treatment with biopesticides, the growing of barrier crops, the installation of sticky traps and pheromone traps, and spray application of biopesticides.
The researchers found that the IPM fields registered a higher bulb yield than those grown using the farmer’s traditional methods.
D. Dinakaran, professor of plant pathology at the National Pulses Research Centre in Tamil Nadu, G. Gajendran, professor and head of the department of Plant Protection at the Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute in Trichy, and S. Mohankumar, professor of entomology at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, were principal authors of the article.
“This research validates the advantages of a multi-faceted approach,” says Ed Rajotte, professor of entomology at Penn State and the program leader for the project’s work in India. “These methods work. And this is especially true because we partner with the farming community in conducting our research. Our work is helping farmers grow more and healthier produce which they can then sell at market for higher prices.”