You need to know your onions when it comes to fresh produce farming. The reward is high when it comes to cash crops but ultimately so are the risks. According to a 2017 report by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries1, onions are the third most popular vegetable in South Africa. Onions are a staple in many savoury dishes and are prepared in various ways for South Africans to enjoy every day. Though for many consumers an onion is just an onion, it requires precision farming from producers to ensure a successful harvest, time after time. Onion farming is a hands-on process and labour intensive. The market is extremely competitive and not regulated by an outside body, instead, price is determined by supply and demand and the quality of the onions delivered.
During one of DNA Plant Science’s recent demo trials, we tested our recommended Manvert protocol on onions to evaluate the efficiency of the selected Manvert products. Our objective was to test whether this protocol could improve the yield of the onion crop, size, quality and produce stronger healthier plants to resist extreme external stressors. The Manvert products that were used during these trials are Foliplus, Fruitsetter, Silikon and Potassium.
Method and Growing Conditions
The trial was performed on a commercial plot in the Bloemhof area. The plot was divided into two sections to ensure similar conditions for both the test and control plot. Both sections were under irrigation and the control plot received the producer’s standard practice. During this trial, it happened that these crops endured extremely high temperatures along with strong winds that placed immense hydric stress on the plants and increased the chances of disease and pests.
1. Increased yield by the tonne. After harvesting the control and test plot were weighed and the test plot that received the Manvert protocol delivered 6 tonnes more p/ha. The total weight of the control plot was ± 87 tonnes onions p/ha, while the Manvert test plot delivered ± 93 tonnes onions p/ha.2. Improved size and more uniform onions. The Manvert protocol delivered onions that were bigger in size and more uniform in comparison to the control group. Both plots were harvested under the same conditions and within the correct time frame for harvesting. (The Manvert protocol is not designed to speed-up production only improve the health of the plant so it can produce healthier vegetables.)3. Improved quality. Onions that are of higher quality will ultimately fetch better prices at the market. After harvesting, we observed that the onions that received the Manvert protocol weren’t only bigger but also of better quality. They were firm and compact and free of signs of disease. 4. Good resistance against pests. Thrips are especially a problem when it comes to onion farming. Despite the tough conditions that this harvest endured we encountered fewer problems with pests such as Thrips that can greatly affect the health and quality of the end product.
The Science Behind Manvert
Manvert applies Nanovert tech® to its formulations which means they can obtain nanoparticles and thereby higher concentrations of the active ingredient in a solution, better coverage upon application and improved absorption on the leaves. Ultimately this will lead to better results.
DNA Plant Science’s Manvert protocol can be applied to a wide range of fruits and vegetables. To learn more about our Manvert products and protocols for your crops and how they can help you this coming season, please contact DNA Plant Science today.