Reduced Tillage System Influence on Yield of Sunflower Hybrids
Information on the effect of reduced tillage on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) production with different hybrids is limited. A 3-yr study (1984 to 1986) was undertaken to evaluate the effect of tillage system and weed control method on seed weight, yield, oil concentration, and total oil of early and late maturity sunflower hybrids under dryland conditions in North Dakota. Sunflower hybrids were grown on a Fargo clay soil (fine, montmorillonitic, frigid Vertic Haplaquolls) with established long term tillage plots. Tillage treatments included conventional (Plow) and three reduced tillage systems (Sweep, Intertill, and No-till) with weed control provided by herbicides with and without cultivation. Yield, weight, oil concentration, and oil yield of the sunflower seed was not significantly different among tillage systems or between weed control methods. Hybrids performed similarly in the seed parameters measured, although the late maturity hybrid consistently produced smaller seed. Results from the study indicated that early maturity sunflower hybrids are better adapted to the dryland areas of the cool northern states because seed yield and quality, irrespective of tillage or weed control method, were equal to or better than those for late maturity hybrids.
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