Yield and quality of densely cultivated onion cultivars as function of nitrogen fertilization

ABSTRACT Nitrogen exerts a marked influence on the yield and quality of the onion. The present work was developed from June to October 2016, aiming to evaluate the yield and quality of two cultivars of onion under a system densified as a function of nitrogen doses in Mossoró, RN, Brazil. A randomized block design was used in a 2 x 7 factorial scheme, with four repetitions, corresponding to two cultivars (IPA 11 and Rio das Antas) and seven nitrogen doses (0, 45, 90, 135, 180, 225 and 270 kg ha-1 of N), provided by fertigation, with four repetitions. The dose of 92 kg ha-1 of N provides the highest total and marketable yields of bulbs. Nitrogen fertilization increases the concentrations of N, chlorophyll a, b and total in the leaves of the onion, as well as the percentage of bulbs of classes 3 and 4 and the pungency, reducing the percentage of bulbs of class 2 and non-commercial. The doses of 108 and 82 kg ha-1 of N provide the highest rates of return for ‘IPA 11’ (R$ 2.07) and ‘Rio das Antas’ (R$ 2.41), respectively.