Agronomic performance of sunflower hybrids grown in the semi-arid climate of Romania

Emilia Constantinescu1, Dorina Bonea1*, Ioana-Claudia Dunareanu2, Mihai Botu3, Ion Saracin1, Liviu-Aurel Olaru1, and Sorina Nitu Nastase4
The increasing demand from farmers for sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) hybrids with high seed yield and high oil content requires the replacement of older hybrids with new hybrids that have improved traits and better adaptation to climate change. Multi-annual studies are essential for the evaluation of sunflower hybrids and the identification of those suitable with specific adaptations to various agro-climatic areas. Thus, to evaluate the adaptation of nine hybrids and test the impact of semi-arid conditions on seed yield, oil content, and some morphological traits, a 3-yr study was carried out in the conditions of Agricultural Research and Development Station (ARDS) Simnic (Romania). The ANOVA results indicated the significant influence of the hybrid (H), year (Y) and the H×Y interaction on all the studied traits. Overall, the year 2020 was better for seed yield (2658.8 kg ha-1) and hectolitre weight (47.9 kg hL-1). On the other hand, 2021 was more efficient for oil content (46.8%), while 2022 was more efficient for plant height, head diameter and 1000-seed weight (133.5 cm, 19.8 cm, and 48.3 g, respectively). The highest seed yield was achieved by 'FD 18E41' with 1849.3 kg ha-1, this could reliably be used in sunflower farming under semi-arid conditions of South-Western Romania. For other traits, the superior sunflower hybrids were: 'FD19E42' for oil content (46.5%); 'Fundulea 911' for hectolitre weight (43.5 kg hL-1); 'Performer' for plant height (133.4 cm) and 1000-seed weight (55.3 g); ‘Fundulea 708’ for head diameter (18.8 cm).
Keywords: Head diameter, hectolitre weight, Helianthus annuus, oil content, plant height, seed yield, 1000-seed weight.
1University of Craiova, Faculty of Agronomy, 19, Libertatii St., 200421, Craiova, Romania.
2Agricultural Research and Development Station Simnic, 54, Balcesti Road, 200721, Craiova, Romania.
3University of Craiova, Faculty of Horticulture, 13 Al. I. Cuza St., 200585, Craiova, Romania.
4National Institute of Research and Development for Potato and Sugar Beet Brasov, 2 Fundaturii St., 500470, Brasov, Romania.
*Corresponding author (dorina.bonea@edu.ucv.ro).