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Agronomy Journal Abstract - SUNFLOWER

Comparison of Stay-Green and Conventional Sunflower Desiccation in the Northern Great Plains


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 100 No. 4, p. 1124-1129
    Received: July 24, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): burton.johnson@ndsu.edu
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  1. Tim D. Larsona,
  2. Burton L. Johnson *b and
  3. Robert A. Hensonc
  1. a Pioneer Hi-Bred Int., Inc., Brookings, SD 56007
    b Dep. of Plant Sci., North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND 58105
    c Carrington Res. Ext. Center, Carrington, ND 58421


Desiccant effectiveness in hastening sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) harvest is based on research conducted for conventional sunflower hybrids; however, information is lacking regarding plant drydown response of more recently developed stay-green hybrids to desiccation. Stay-green and conventional sunflower hybrids were evaluated for plant drydown response to desiccant and control treatments in 2000 and 2001 at Carrington, Casselton, and Prosper, ND. The experiment was a randomized complete block arranged in a split-split-plot design with desiccation, hybrid, and harvest date representing main, sub-, and sub-subplot, respectively. Pioneer Hy-Bred International oilseed hybrids ‘6338’ (stay-green) and ‘63M91’ (conventional), and nonoilseed Seeds 2000 stay-green hybrid ‘Bigfoot’ were evaluated for plant drydown response under natural (control) conditions and when desiccated with paraquat (1,1′-dimethyl-4,4′bipyridinium dichloride) applied at the labeled rate. Timing of desiccant application was based on visual characteristics of the capitulm and targeted at physiological maturity when achene moisture ≈ 350 g kg−1 Four harvest dates occurred at 7-d intervals following desiccant application where achene, receptacle, and stalk moistures were evaluated. Results indicated hybrid achene-moisture response across harvest dates was similar for the desiccated and control treatments, although desiccation hastened achene-moisture loss to harvestable levels by 7 d. Harvestable achene and receptacle moistures were concurrent for the conventional hybrid 63M91, however, high receptacle moisture for the stay-green hybrids 6338 and Bigfoot could prevent harvest even though achene moisture was at harvestable levels. Desiccation hastened hybrids 63M91, 6338, and Bigfoot receptacle drydown to harvestable levels by ≈7 d, however 63M91 reached harvestable moisture ≈5 d earlier than the stay-green hybrids. Receptacle and stalk moisture differences indicated greater receptacle than stalk moisture differences between stay-green and conventional hybrids. Desiccation is an important harvest management practice to hasten harvest especially for stay-green hybrids where receptacle moisture determines harvestability. Increased levels of the stay-green trait in sunflower may result in desiccation becoming a more common harvest management practice.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy