Journal of Agronomy Research

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ISSN: 2639-3166
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  • Influence of Sowing Date on Growth and Yield Components of Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus L.) in Semi-Arid Zone

    Hilwa, D. Abu Anga 1   Wael A. Marajan 2   Abu backer H. Mohammed 1   Baha Eldin M. Idris 1  

    1Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture, University of Bahri.

    2Department of Soil and Water Science, College of Agriculture, University of Bahri.


    The main objective of this study was to quantify the influence of sowing date on growth and yield components of hybrid sunflower (Hysun33) cultivar in semi-arid zone. This experiment was conducted during the seasons 2014/2015-2015/2016 at the farm of the College of Agricultural Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Shambat, Khartoum- Sudan. The experiment was arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications and three treatments. Different parameters were considered including plant height, leaf area index (LAI), filled sees number/head, head diameter, dry weight and yield components. The collected data were statistically analyzed. The results revealed that crop sown in May and July showed significant increase in plant height, LAI, head diameter, dry weight, field seed number/head, weight of 100 seeds; yield; and yield components; compared to crop sown in March. However, crop sown in the second season showed an increase in growth and yield components compared to the crop of the first season.

    Author Contributions
    Received 01 Jul 2019; Accepted 11 Oct 2019; Published 17 Oct 2019;

    Academic Editor: Berken Cimen, Cukurova University, Turkey.

    Checked for plagiarism: Yes

    Review by: Single-blind

    Copyright ©  2019 Hilwa, D. Abu Anga, et al.

    Creative Commons License     This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Competing interests

    The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


    Hilwa, D. Abu Anga, Wael A. Marajan, Abu backer H. Mohammed, Baha Eldin M. Idris (2019) Influence of Sowing Date on Growth and Yield Components of Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus L.) in Semi-Arid Zone. Journal of Agronomy Research - 2(2):36-42.

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    DOI 10.14302/issn.2639-3166.jar-19-2961


    Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) belongs to family Compositeae. It is a native to Central America, and seemingly; it is Peruvian or Mexican in origin 1, 2.

    The economic importance of this crop is that the fresh green plant can be used as silage or fodder to feed livestock. The seed can be eaten raw or roasted, and it can be used in salads, cooking, margarine, lubricant, paint varnishes and soap production. The seed contains about 36 to 45 % oil depending on the variety 3.

    The crop is categorized as a low to medium drought sensitive 4. It shows adaptability to different regions, climatic conditions and sowing dates due to its high genotype and ambient interactions 5. Therefore it can be grown twice a year 2. Nevertheless, despite the ability of the crop to high water use, and the ability to withstand short periods of severe soil water deficit of up to 15 atmosphere tension, the long periods of severe soil water deficit, particularly at water-sensitive growth stages, causes significant reduction in seed yield 6.

    It is noticed that good cultural practices and drainage are required for sunflower production 7. However; several studies reflected that sunflower can be grown at a wide range of dates. Most cultivars are early maturing. In areas where no winter, sunflower can be grown at any month of the year to obtain satisfactory yields 8, 9.

    It is reported that yield differences between hybrids with regard to sowing time and density are remarkable. These differences are determined on one hand by the hybrid characteristics and environmental conditions, and on the other hand, on by plant population, soil fertility and land preparation 8, 9.

    Researchers 10 showed that when sunflower sown in December; it flowers between March and April, at a time when the honeybee activity is maximum, resulting in better pollination and consequently good seed setting.

    Seed setting and filling problem is one of the most important constraints in sunflower production, especially under rain-fed; where the heavy rains wash the pollen grains, and often considered to be a major reason for low productivity 11.

    Materials and Methods

    This experiment was conducted at the farm of the College of Agricultural Studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Shambat, Khartoum - Sudan, during the seasons 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Where the climate is described as semi-arid region. The area receives an average annual rainfall in summer, during July to September, ranging from 100 to 160 mm/annum, and relative humidity ranges between 31-51% during the wet season and 12-27% during the dry season. The average maximum and minimum temperature is about 41.7 0C and 15.3 0C respectively. The winter season begins in November and ends in March. It is relatively cool and dry 12.

    The soil of study area is classified as silt, clay loam with non saline at surface, but slightly sodic at the subsurface.

    The adopted experimental design was the randomized complete block (RCBD); with four replications and three treatments (sowing dates (March, May and July)) which referred as S1, S2 and S3 respectively.

    The land was cleared, well prepared by using disc plough, disc harrow, leveler and moldboard. Then the area was divided into equal plots. Each plot size is 4 X 4 m2, with 5 rows. The spaces between rows are 70 cm. Following the randomization, seeds of sunflower (Hysun 33) were sown on rows, 70X15 cm apart. The recommended cultural practices by the Research Centre in Sudan were followed.

    The data of the studied parameters were collected. Where three plants were randomly selected from each plot for measuring the following parameters: plant height (cm), leaf area index (LAI), plant dry weight (g), and yield components including head diameter, 100 seeds weight (g), number of seeds/head, yield (t/ha). The collected data were subjected to statistical analysis using statistic 8, Version 2.0 UK.


    Table 1. Effect of sowing date on Plant height (cm), Leaf Area Index (LAI)(cm2), filled seed number/head– Shambat- Khartoum, Sudan (2014/2015 and 2015/2016).
     Sowing Date  Season1
    Plant height (cm) Leaf area Index (L. A I) Filled seed No. /head
    S1 131.15AB 94.45B 235.54A
    S2 136.55A 81.59C 152.75C
    S3 128.46B 106.13A 186.69B
    SE+ 4.04 6.51 15.63
    CV 8.23 11.10 31.79
    S1 125.50C 74.26C 240.04C
    S2 135.84A 137.31A 289.38B
    S3 129.49B 109.57B 316.19A
    SE+ 3.08 6.60 45.36
    CV 6.26 13.42 32.29

    Means in columns followed by different letters are significantly different at 5 %. HyS33= Hysun33 Cultivar. S1= Sowing in March. S2= Sowing in May. S3= Sowing in July.
    Table 2. Effect of sowing dates on 100 seeds weight, head diameter (cm), Plant dry weight (g) and Yield t/ha Shambat- Khartoum, Sudan (2014/2015 and 2015/2016).
    Season I
    Sowing date 100 seed Weight (g) Head diameter (cm) Plant dry weight (g) Yield t/ha
    S1 3.89B 8.38B 365.00B 1.13C
    S2 4.20A 9.46A 435.00A 1.13B
    S3 4.38A 9.42A 378.13B 1.57A
    SE+ 0.30 0.44 40.42 5.88
    CV 0.61 0.89 52.19 11.96
     Season II 
    S1 1.59A 8.85C 201.88B 0.67B
    S2 1.32B 12.38A 205.00B 0.78A
    S3 1.33B 11.19B 262.50A 0.71B
    SE+ 0.14 0.41 35.48 16.30
    CV 0.29 0.84 42.24 33.15

    Means in columns followed by different letters are significantly different at 5 %. HyS33= Hysun33 Cultivar. S1= Sowing in March. S2= Sowing in May. S3= Sowing in July.

    Figure 1. Effect of sowing date on plant height (cm.)- Khartoum-Sudan(2014/ 2015-2015/2016).
    Figure 1.

    Figure 2. Effect of sowing date on Leaf Area Index (LAI.)- Khartoum-Sudan (2014/ 2015-2015/2016).
    Figure 2.

    Figure 3. Effect of sowing date on filled seed number/head - Khartoum-Sudan (2014/ 2015-2015/2016).
    Figure 3.

    Figure 4. Effect of sowing date on 100 seed weight (cm.)- Khartoum-Sudan (2014/ 2015-2015/2016).
    Figure 4.

    Figure 5. Effect of sowing date on head diameter (cm.)- Khartoum-Sudan (2014/ 2015-2015/2016
    Figure 5.

    Figure 6. Effect of sowing date dry weight (g) - Khartoum-Sudan (2014/ 2015-2015/2016).
    Figure 6.

    Figure 7. Effect of sowing date on yield ton/ha (2014/2015 and 2015/2016).
    Figure 7.


    Considering Table 1, and Figure 1, the results of data analysis of this study showed variation in plant height for the different sowing dates in the same season as well as between the two seasons. In the first season, crop sown in May (S2) has significantly increased plant height (136.55 cm) compared to January (132.15 cm) and July (128.46 cm), while in the second season plant heights for the different sowing dates were 125.50 cm, 135.84 cm and 129.49 cm for January, May and July respectively. It is clear that sowing date in May (S2), produced the highest plant height in both seasons. A researcher 13; reported that plant height decreased significantly with delay in sowing from first January, to first April. This result disagrees with the results obtained in this study. This variation may be due to difference in climatic conditions and cultural practices.

    As far as the leaf area index (LAI) concern, in the first season, the sowing date S3 produced bigger LAI (106.13 m2) compared to 94.45 cm2 and S1 59.45cm2 for S1 and S2 respectively. While in the second season; S2 produced the biggest LA I 137.31 m2, followed by S3 and S1 respectively (Table 1, Figure 2).

    For filled seed number/head, the data reflected S1 produced the highest number of seed filling/head (235.54), followed by S3 and S2 (152.75) in the first season (Table 1, Figure 3), where in the second season the highest number was obtained by S3 (316. 19) compared to S2 (289.38) and S1 (240.04) (Figure 2). Similar result was obtained by one of the researcher 14.

    For seed weight (100 seeds weight), the sowing dates S3 (4.38g.) and S2 (4.2 g) produced higher seed weight in the first season compared to S1 (3.89 g.). While in the second season; the S1 produced more seed weight compared to S3 and S2 (Table 2, Figure 4).

    In regard to head diameter, S2, and S3 appeared to be the suitable sowing dates for sunflower in this area (Table 2). However, the head diameters for the different sowing dates in different seasons were as follows: for the first season, S2, and S3 produced similar head diameter (9.46 cm, 9.42 cm), while S1 produced head diameter of 8.38 cm. For the second season, S2 (12.38) considered the best sowing date followed by S3 (11.19) and S1 (8.85) (Figure 5).

    The data of the dry weight of the first season reflected that treatment S2 showed higher dry weight (435 g) compared to treatment S2 and S3 375.13 and 365 respectively. While treatment S3 produced more dry weight (262.5 g) compared to treatments S2 (205 g) and S1 (201.85 g) respectively (Table 2, Figure 6).

    As far as the yield concern, the data displayed variation between and within the two seasons. The yield of the first season exceeded the second season. In the first season; crop sown in July produced higher yield, while in the second season; crop sown in May produced higher yield (Table 2, Figure 7).


    Sunflower can be cultivated year a record in different region in the world. The performance of sunflower is largely affected by adverse conditions, cultural practices and sowing date.

    This Study showed that the optimum sowing dates in the study area are May (S2) and July (S3), when the highest plant height, leaf area index (LAI), number of seed setting/head, weight of 100 seed, head diameter, dry weight were a obtained.


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