How to increase the yield of sunflower through modern cultivation methods
Sunflower among farmers is one of the most demanded crops in crop rotation. The reason for its popularity lies in the fact that its cultivation is characterized by high profitability and brings good profits. In addition, sunflower is also the main oilseed crop in the CIS, so there is a demand for it every year.
However, every farmer knows that it is important to make an effort to grow crops in order to get a good profit. It is not easy to do this, the sunflower belongs to the whimsical and demanding agricultural crops. Therefore, every year farmers are faced with the issue of optimizing this process. Success depends on:
• cultivation technologies;
• the quality of the seed;
• crop rotation;
• type of soil;
• compliance with sowing dates;
We will discuss below how these methods affect yields and what needs to be done to increase them.
Today, when cultivating sunflower, they resort to 3 main approaches:
• classic. The disadvantage of technology is that you need to make a lot of efforts to control dicotyledonous weeds, an important measure is the introduction of herbicides into the soil, which entails additional costs;
• express. This technology implies complex processing after the appearance of the first shoots. In total, you need to make 2 applications of the herbicide;
• Clearfield (translated as "clear field"). This technology provides effective protection against various weeds.
Among modern farmers, it is Clearfield that is most widespread, since, due to complex processing, it allows you to destroy parasitic plants, which helps to increase yields.
Today sunflower seeds differ in varieties and hybrids. The first are plants with a certain set of characteristics, distinctive features.
Varieties are obtained as a result of long-term selection, and they also serve as material for breeding hybrids (F1). These plants represent a generation that combines all the best properties of "parents". Unlike varieties, hybrids better tolerate the vicissitudes of the climate, are less susceptible to disease and, which is especially important, are more productive (on average by 15%). However, such seeds are annual. That is, hybrids do not give generations, while the variety "continues the genus". True, every next year the quality of the seed decreases (superelite, elite, 1 reproduction, 2 reproduction ...).
In addition, sunflower seeds differ in purpose. You can highlight the following types of them:
• oilseeds. They contain a high percentage of fat and are used to make oil;
• confectionery. Such varieties and hybrids give large poured seeds that are used for food (fried, dry);
• simple. Today, such seeds are almost never used, since they are inferior in yield and quality.
In modern agriculture, oilseeds and confectionery types of seeds are sown to a greater extent, giving preference to high-yielding hybrids. You should also take into account such a concept as the growing season. According to this parameter, sunflower varieties and hybrids are:
• early maturing (vegetation lasts up to 90 days). They usually contain about 52% oil;
• medium early (ripen in 110 days). Productivity - up to 30 kg / ha. The percentage of oil is on average up to 55%;
• mid-season (up to 116 days). They yield up to 40 c / ha. Oil content - 50–54%;
• medium late (up to 120 days).
However, in order to get a good profit, it is important to select the right seed according to the climatic and soil conditions of the specific area.
Sunflower is a crop that consumes a lot of nutrients from the soil, making it "poorer". If you plant it from year to year in the same field, then the quality of the seeds and the yield will gradually decrease. Due to the deficiency of micro- and macroelements, plants will not receive useful substances. In order to prevent such an outcome, the field should be allowed to "rest" from the sunflower, and the crop should be transferred to another area every next year.
In classical farming technology, after this culture, the soil is left for a couple of years. In general, it is necessary to return the sunflower to the site no earlier than in 5-7 years. Also, compliance with crop rotation is one of the measures to prevent the appearance of diseases, pests and weeds.
When compiling a rotational table, the type of the predecessor crop should also be taken into account, this feature also largely affects the yield. It is optimal to sow sunflower after cereals (ardent and winter crops), corn. Poor predecessors are crops with a powerful root system that penetrates deep into the soil (and therefore consumes more nutrients), legumes and broadleafs (they have common pests and diseases).
Sunflower is a demanding crop. Preferences for a certain type of soil are determined by the characteristics of the development of the plant's root system and the need for moisture.
For sunflower, soils with a deep arable horizon, loose (provide good permeability) and with high moisture capacity are optimal. Sandy loams and loess soils meet similar conditions. It is on such soils that the optimal crop yield can be obtained. Also, subject to proper agricultural practices, lighter types of soils with a high level of humus are suitable. But on silty soils and areas with stagnant water, sunflower will give birth poorly.
To get a good fullness of seeds, the plant must be provided with food, since during the growing season of the crop, the consumption of micro- and macroelements increases - nitrogen (15%), potassium and phosphorus (10% of each substance). Therefore, it is important to saturate the soil with the necessary components even before sowing.
As a fertilizer, nitroammofoska (in spring) or ammophos (in autumn) is applied at 150-200 kg / ha.
The quality of seedlings depends on this parameter, as well as the resistance of plants to weather factors. These parameters, in turn, have a large impact on yield. In general, when determining the timing of sowing, it is important to take into account not the calendar values, but the ambient temperature. The average daily air t should be at least 5 degrees, and the soil should not fall below 0.
If we take into account the calendar sowing dates, then sunflower is usually planted after spring crops or at the same time as barley.
As with sowing, there are no exact dates. Harvested from mid-August to late September. The exact timing can vary greatly depending on the climate of the region, weather and ripeness of different varieties and hybrids.
You need to focus on the meteorological conditions and the state of the culture itself - the fullness of the seeds, the degree of dryness (percentage of moisture). Interestingly, sunflower can be harvested even in freezing conditions; this approach is used with late varieties. Even if they have not had time to lose moisture, dry frost will help dry them a little.
Also a common measure is to accelerate ripening by desiccation. Treatment with continuous herbicides allows the seeds to dry faster, to bring the moisture content to an acceptable level. But if the kernels are poorly poured, then the yield will also be small. It is better to follow the sowing dates, recommendations for choosing a variety or hybrid, and the rules of agricultural technology. These methods are more reliable and help to achieve the formation of a high yield.
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