Early season onion crops, despite lower yield, is an opportunity for farmers to explore market and better prices in southern Brazil. Knowing the amount absorbed and the distribution of nutrients in the plant is essential for adequate management of fertilization. However, little information on this matter is available for onion, especially for organic farming and nontraditional periods in southern Brazil. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutrient absorption and partitioning in open-pollinated onion cultivars grown in organic system. The experiment was conducted in the Canguiri-UFPR experimental organic farm, Curitiba-PR, with sowing in January. The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with three replications. Cultivars Franciscana IPA-10 (purple), Vale Ouro IPA-11 and Brisa IPA-12 (from Empresa Pernambucana de Pesquisa Agropecuária - IPA), Alfa Tropical (from Embrapa Hortaliças), Alfa São Francisco (VIII cycle) and Alfa São Francisco-RT (thrips resistant- genotype under test; from Embrapa Semi-árido), and BR-29 (Topseed-Agristar) were selected for the study. Chemical analyses were performed for shoot and bulbs collected at harvest. The production potential of cultivars varied, and the most productive ones were the most efficient in converting the nutrients absorbed in bulb yield. The order of nutrient contents in the shoots was K > N > P > Ca > Mg > Fe > Zn > Mn = B > Cu, whereas in the bulbs it was K > N > P > Ca > Mg > Fe > B > Zn > Cu > Mn. Nutrients were required in the following order of amount K > N > P > Ca > Mg > Fe > Zn > B > Mn > Cu, per ton of fresh bulbs, and accumulated in greater quantity in the shoot, except Zn, which had higher concentration in the bulb.
Allium cepa; Onion nutrition; cultivars