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Efficiency of water use of early plantings of sunflower

AuthorsSoriano, Mª Auxiliadora ; Orgaz Rosua, Francisco ; Villalobos, Francisco J. ; Fereres Castiel, Elías
Water use efficiency
Planting date
Issue DateDec-2004
CitationEurop. J. Agronomy 21 (2004) 465–476
AbstractRain fed crop production in Mediterranean environments depends to a large extent on strategies that avoid the intense summer drought. Early plantings of sunflower have given consistently higher yields in such environments, but the basis for such yield increases has not been explored.We conducted two field experiments at Cordoba (Spain) to investigate the effects of an early and a late planting date on the components of water-limited crop productivity; namely, water use (T), water use efficiency (TE) and harvest index (HI) of sunflower. The results were generalized by simulating rain fed sunflower yields, under early (1 January) and late (15 March) plantings, for a 25-year period with the aid of a simulation model of the Ceres type (OILCROP-SUN) which has been validated in Cordoba. Experimental seed yields of early plantings in 1989 and 1996 were 2.0 and 3.0 t ha−1, while late plantings yields were 1.3 and 2.4 t ha−1, for the 2 years. Average simulated yields were 2.7 ± 1.1 and 1.9 ± 0.7 t ha−1 for early and late plantings, respectively. For the 2 years, T of early plantings was higher than that of late plantings, but the response of TE and HI to planting date was not the same in the two experiments. In the simulation exercise, T and TE of early plantings were consistently higher than those of late plantings, while there were no differences in the HI for the two planting dates. We conclude that early plantings of sunflower increase rain fed yields by increasing both T and TE, while the impact of planting date on HI very much depends on the crop water stress pattern, which is quite variable from year to year even in the predictable Mediterranean environment.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2004.07.001
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
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