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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Research Project #436125

Research Project: Early Maturing Sunflower for Double Crop Use in the Central Plains

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-043-021-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

The objective of this work is to extend our early maturity oilseed program to include both western Canada and regions of the US where double crop production of sunflower is a possibility. With evaluation data from the central plains, we can provide commercial breeders and seed production companies serving the central plains with inbred lines that can be used to make hybrids or further improved inbred lines suited for double cropping in the region.

We currently have everything from finished inbred lines to F2 line populations that carry genes necessary to produce early maturing hybrids. We had many lines that were at the F4 and F6 generations this summer, and right now, we have testcross hybrid seed of these lines available for evaluation in a double crop environment. We are currently working with producers in Kansas to identify plot location(s) and a cooperator who can assist us with carrying out a replicated, small plot trial of spring planted sunflower that will be harvested prior to winter wheat planting. Plot maintenance, including plant populations, weed control, and insect pest control, will be done according to local recommendations and best management practices. Presence of sunflower moth will be monitored to evaluate the potential for escape by early blooming. Preharvest notes will include height, lodging, disease susceptibility, and general adaptation. Yield will be measured on the small plots and subsamples taken for oil content analysis in Fargo. Data will be compared with that of the same hybrids in western Canada and will be used to inform line advancement and release decisions. Each year, successful lines will be advanced for additional evaluation and new lines will become available for evaluation. After 3-4 years of evaluation, we will recommend lines for release. We will release any inbred line that is a result of this project publicly, meaning that we will not demand royalty income or limit distribution of the line after release.