African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of irrigation and nitrogen levels on bulb yield, nitrogen uptake and water use efficiency of shallot (Allium cepa var. ascalonicum Baker)

Yenus Ousman Kemal
Department of Plant Sciences, School of Graduate Studies, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 September 2013
  •  Published: 26 September 2013


A field experiment was carried out at Bahirdar, Northwest Ethiopia, during the dry season of 2009 to evaluate the effects of irrigation levels and nitrogen (N) rates fertilizer on bulb yield, N uptake and water use efficiency (WUE) of shallot. The treatments comprised of three irrigation levels (120, 100, and 50% ETc) and four N rates (0, 59, 105 and 151 kg N ha-1) which were laid out in a split-plot design using irrigation levels as a main plot and N levels as a subplot with three replications. Data on plant height, number of leaves, WUE, N uptake, bulb number, average bulb diameter, marketable and unmarketable bulb yields were collected and analyzed. The result showed that irrigation and N levels significantly affected all these parameters. The interaction of irrigation and N also highly significantly affected all these parameters except the number of bulbs and N uptake of shallot. The regression equations (TMBY = 5.67 + 0.022Irr + 0.02N and TBY = 3.12 + 0.02109 Irr + 0.0158 N) revealed that an increase in the amount of irrigation by 1 mm can increase marketable and total bulb yield by about 0.022 and 0.0209 t ha-1, respectively and an increase in N by 1 kg ha-1 can increase the marketable and total bulb yields by 0.022 and 0.0158 t ha-1, respectively. Application of water at 120% ETc and fertilized with either 105 or 151 kg N ha-1 was the best for maximum marketable (11.64 and 12.03 t ha-1) and total bulb yields (12.91 and 13.3 t ha-1). From WUE point of view, application of water at 100% ETc and fertilized with 151 kg N ha-1 could be the best practice. However, the yield at this interaction level is significantly lower than the maximum yields. The highest total N uptake (37.18 kg ha-1) was obtained at 151 kg N ha-1.  


Key words: Irrigation, nitrogen, North-western Ethiopia, bulb, yield, shallot, marketable.