Sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) is a warm-season crop with the potential to add high value to diversified farms in the Northeast as a rotation crop, an on-farm fuel production source, and an added-value retail crop. Production of high-yielding sunflower crops is highly influenced by plant population and adequate nitrogen (N). Applying excessive N to sunflower can have detrimental effects to the crop and environment as well as decreasing profits for farmers. Sunflower populations can also have a significant impact on yield and quality. In Vermont where a more temperate climate prevails, higher plant populations may be advantageous compared to the more arid sunflower-growing regions in the U.S. Plains. As target populations increase, N application recommendations generally increase as well. With the need for regionally-specific recommendations, the University of Vermont Northwest Crops & Soils Program has initiated a yearly study since 2010 to determine the effects of target population and N application rate on plant stand characteristics, pest damage, and seed and oil yields of sunflower. The following are results from the 2012 study.


Vermont, University of Vermont

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