Sunflowers are often considered a secondary crop by South African producers. However, planting sunflowers can be a good option for many farmers as it performs well in drier areas, has a shorter growing period compared to maize and can be used in a crop rotation programme. Furthermore, sunflowers offer more versatility as it still performs well in marginal soils and can withstand early frost. The production cost of sunflowers also tends to be less in comparison to maize and with minor improvements, the relative profitability of sunflowers can increase significantly.
The returns per hectare, remain one of the key driving forces behind crop selection. If we’re able to cost-effectively enhance production practices that increase returns per hectare, South African producers can compete with international markets and exporting countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.
DNA Science constantly strives to assist South African producers to increase their return per hectare on all types of crops in the most innovative and researched way. Recently, we conducted trials on sunflowers using Manvert’s Biostimulants and Autodefense products to see whether it could have an effect on yield and quality.
For all its advantages, sunflowers do not come without its drawbacks. Sunflowers are prone to fungal disease and yields can further easily be influenced by stress factors such as prolonged cold, heat and drought.
We selected two blocks in the Bloemfontein district to conduct this trial. The control block received the standard treatment and the test block one application of Manvert Foliplus and Miconic. Both products work in conjunction with fungicide and insecticide sprays and were applied to the test block with the standard crop protectors.
The start of the season was dry, and this district only received rain much later. Night and day temperatures were low throughout the season which also raised some concerns. Manvert Foliplus is a biostimulant applied to the plant and soil to increased plant tolerance against all types of abiotic stress. Manvert Miconic, an Autodefense formulation activates the plant’s natural self-defence mechanisms against pathogens or diseases.
Despite the late rains and low temperatures, the test block performed exceedingly well in comparison to the control block during this first phase of testing.
- Higher yields: The test block delivered a higher yield of 250kg per hectare more than the control block. The control block weighed in at 980kg per ha and the test block at 1230kg per ha.
- Healthier and stronger plants: The plants in the test blocked were much healthier and showed fewer signs of stress. The test block also had fewer problems with fungal disease in comparison to the control block that received the standard treatment.
- Ultimately, both yield and quality improved with only one application of the selected Manvert products.
The Science Behind Manvert
Manvert applies Nanovert tech® to its formulations which means they can obtain nanoparticles and thereby higher concentrations of the active ingredient in a solution, better coverage upon application and improved absorption on the leaves. This will lead to better results.
DNA Plant Science’s Manvert protocol can be applied to a wide range of crops. To learn more about our Manvert products and protocols for your crops and how they can help you this coming season, please contact DNA Plant Science today.