By Zac B. Sarian

Our spy in Ilocos Norte reports that a number of farmers in the province, especially the town of Badoc, are expecting a very good crop of their Maserati shallot (Lasona in Ilocos) which they hope to harvest by the last week of February.

Maserati is a hybrid that was introduced by Ramgo Seed one year ago. It is a very promising replacement for the old Lasona that has been grown for ages by Ilocano farmers.

It has a number of advantages over the old Lasona. It produces bigger bulbs and therefore higher yield than the traditional variety. It is grown from seed and therefore, the planting material is free of disease. On the other hand, the old Lasona is grown from bulblets that are taken from each year’s harvest. The bulbs for planting are often infected with disease organisms that could result in poor growth and low yield.

The seeds are germinated in seedling trays and later planted in the field mulched with rice straw. The crop is harvestable less than four months from planting. Maserati, like Lasona, has export potential. Indonesia is often interested to import this type of onion. Well, we hope to give you an update on Maserati if we will be able to visit the farmers in Badoc sometime in February.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s February 2018 issue.