Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

W. Diepenbrock M. Lang and B. Feil:

Yield and quality of sunflower as affected by row orientation, row spacing and plant density


The responses of yield and quality traits of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to row orientation, row spacing, and plant density were studied in a three year field experiment (1996, 1997, 1998) conducted at a high-latitude site (51°24' N) in central Germany. There were two row orientations (east-west; north-south), three row spacings (50, 75, and 100 cm), and three plant densities (four, eight, and 12 plants m-2). Sunflower plants in east-west rows yielded on average 12 % more oil than plants in north-south rows. The higher yield of plants in the east-west rows was mainly the result of a greater number of achenes m-2; both aboveground biomass and the harvest index tended to be higher in the east-west rows than in the north-south rows. The maximum yield was produced in the east-west rows at four to eight plants m-2 and 72 to 100 cm row spacing.

Key words: sunflower (Helianthus annus L.), row orientation, row spacing, plant density, oil concentration.