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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390619

Research Project: Optimizing Oilseed and Alternative Grain Crops: Innovative Production Systems and Agroecosystem Services

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Double-cropping oilseed sunflower after winter camelina

item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Mohammed, Yesuf
item WALIA, MANINDER - University Of Nevada
item Hulke, Brent
item Anderson, James

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2022
Publication Date: 3/20/2022
Citation: Gesch, R.W., Mohammed, Y.A., Walia, M.K., Hulke, B.S., Anderson, J.V. 2022. Double-cropping oilseed sunflower after winter camelina. Industrial Crops and Products. 181. Article 114811.

Interpretive Summary: Sunflower producers across the northern Great Plains and upper Midwest are looking for ways to enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their cropping systems. Producing two crops in a single season by double-cropping sunflower with winter camelina has potential to meet this need. Previous work showed that this is possible, but due to a shorter growing season for double-crop sunflower in the upper Midwest U.S., seed yields suffer. However, new sunflower hybrids that are early maturing may be better suited for double-cropping with camelina. To evaluate the productivity of double-cropped sunflower with camelina, a multi-year field study was conducted using an early maturing semidwarf sunflower hybrid in addition to three commonly grown longer season sunflower varieties. Seed yields and seed quality of double-cropped sunflowers were compared to those of the same hybrids grown conventionally as single crops. Although winter camelina offers cover crop benefits including early season weed suppression and reduced soil erosion, seed yields of double-cropped sunflower were lower than conventional sunflower. The yield reduction, however, was much less using the early maturing hybrid, and overall oil production per acre was greater in the double-cropping system. Double-cropping also influenced sunflower oil quality, which may affect whether the oil is suitable for food or industrial purposes. This information will benefit scientists, farmers, sunflower and other specialty oil industries, educators, and ag consultants interested in promoting winter camelina and sunflower production.

Technical Abstract: Double-cropping as a means of sustainably intensifying oilseed production could promote farmer adoption of new and minor use oil crops like camelina [Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz]. Previous research indicated that double-cropping sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) after winter camelina in the upper Midwest USA tended to reduce sunflower seed yield and oil content as compared with monocrop sunflower. However, new semidwarf hybrid sunflower genotypes with early maturity may be better suited for developing double-cropping systems for oil production in the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains. To evaluate seed and oil yields of winter camelina (cv. Joelle) and double-cropped sunflower compared with monocrop sunflower, a field study was conducted across two growing seasons (2017-2019) in west central Minnesota USA. One early maturing semidwarf oil sunflower hybrid, Honeycomb NS, and three common commercial full season oil hybrids were evaluated. Additionally, soil moisture to a 1-m depth was monitored during both growing seasons, which did not appear to limit production of the two crops in a single season at the study site. Although delayed sowing associated with double-cropping generally reduced sunflower seed yield, oil content, and the oleic/linoleic acid ratio compared with monocrop controls, these decreases were less for the early maturing hybrid Honeycomb NS. During one season of the study, total oil yield (winter camelina + sunflower) of double-cropped Honeycomb NS was 1.5 times greater than its monocrop counterpart. In addition to sustainably intensifying oil production, double-cropping sunflower with winter camelina might appeal to producers wanting to reduce the risk of one or the other crop failing in any given year.