Sunflower is a relatively new crop for the Northeast, and producers are interested in growing this crop for both the oil and seed meal. These products can be used for fuel, feed and food. Sunflower can yield well here in Vermont, but pest pressures often compromise strong yields. Altering planting dates may help to mitigate some of these pest pressures by getting the plants through a vulnerable growth stage before or after the most active periods in a pest’s lifecycle. In addition, certain varieties may be impacted differently by alterations in planting date. Because Vermont has a short growing season, there is only so much flexibility when shifting planting dates and still expecting a viable harvest, so the maturity of a sunflower variety becomes a crucial factor. Two sunflower varieties with different maturities were assessed in this study evaluating the impacts of five varying planting dates on stand characteristics, pest damage, and seed and oil yield.


Vermont, University of Vermont

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