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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation for vegetable and floriculture production

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Agronomic feasibility of sunflower as an oilseed cover crop for Florida vegetable production systems

Authors
item Chellemi, Daniel
item Turechek, William
item Adkins, Scott
item Seiler, Gerald

Submitted to: Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Oil producing sunflower (Helianthus annuus) was evaluated as a cover crop for Florida vegetable growers. The performance of a traditional, dwarf and herbicide resistant hybrid was evaluated at two locations (Martin and St. Lucie counties) in replicated 0.6 acre plots and a grain combine was used harvest seed. Bidens mottle virus (BiMoV) was detected in both locations. BiMoV incidence was lowest in the dwarf hybrid and the timing of infection impacted subsequent yields. The incidence of white mold, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, on seed heads ranged from 2.5% in the dwarf hybrid to >5% in the taller hybrids. Seed yields varied from 956 to 1,793 lbs per acre and were increased by 23% when harvesting pans were attached to the combine header. Total oil content in harvested seed, determined by nuclear magnetic resonance, ranged from 41.5% to 44.5%. Mechanically extracted oil and meal contents ranged up to 30.3% and 65.5%, respectively. Sunflower meal produced a high quality livestock nutritional supplement with low moisture (<7.6%) and high digestible protein (20.3% to 23.6%) and total digestible nutrients (72.9% to 81%). Root-knot nematodes were detected in both locations with the highest soil densities observed in the herbicide resistant hybrid. Potential benefits from integrating sunflower into existing vegetable production systems include additional acreage for generation of biodiesel and nutritional supplements for livestock, new revenue sources for local farmers, improved soil quality and increased carbon sequestration

Technical Abstract: Oil producing sunflower (Helianthus annuus) was evaluated as a cover crop for Florida vegetable growers. The performance of a traditional, dwarf and herbicide resistant hybrid was evaluated at two locations (Martin and St. Lucie counties) in replicated 0.6 acre plots and a grain combine was used harvest seed. Bidens mottle virus (BiMoV) was detected in both locations. BiMoV incidence was lowest in the dwarf hybrid and the timing of infection impacted subsequent yields. The incidence of white mold, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, on seed heads ranged from 2.5% in the dwarf hybrid to >5% in the taller hybrids. Seed yields varied from 956 to 1,793 lbs per acre and were increased by 23% when harvesting pans were attached to the combine header. Total oil content in harvested seed, determined by nuclear magnetic resonance, ranged from 41.5% to 44.5%. Mechanically extracted oil and meal contents ranged up to 30.3% and 65.5%, respectively. Sunflower meal produced a high quality livestock nutritional supplement with low moisture (<7.6%) and high digestible protein (20.3% to 23.6%) and total digestible nutrients (72.9% to 81%). Root-knot nematodes were detected in both locations with the highest soil densities observed in the herbicide resistant hybrid. Potential benefits from integrating sunflower into existing vegetable production systems include additional acreage for generation of biodiesel and nutritional supplements for livestock, new revenue sources for local farmers, improved soil quality and increased carbon sequestration

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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