AbstractThe sunflower is a newly planted crop in the Czech Republic, which represents the northern edge of the species’ range, and there is a lack of information about the effect of nutrient application on yield components. To fill this gap, we performed a fertilizer experiment on Greyic Phaeozem over the years 2008–2012 to evaluate the effects of N, B, Zn and Mo application on achenes yield. We compared the control (C) without any N fertilizer, N treatments (N 60, N 90, N120 kg N ha−1) and N treatments accompanied with micronutrients (N 90+B – 0.3 kg B ha−1, N 90+Zn – 0.35 kg Zn ha−1, N 90+Mo – 0.125 kg Mo ha−1). The mean achenes yield over all years ranged from 3.9 in C to 4.34 t ha−1 in N 60. Achenes yield over all treatments ranged from 3.04 in 2008 to 4.91 t ha−1 in 2010. We concluded that sunflower can be produced with application rate up to 60 kg N ha−1 on highly productive soils in the Czech Republic and for similar other soils in the region. The increase in N application above 60 kg N ha−1 can decrease achenes yield. Application of B and Zn achieved slightly higher, while the addition of Mo slightly lower achenes yields when compared to the treatment with the same level of N and without micronutrients addition. We concluded that the application of micronutrients at the sites with sufficient content of those micronutrients in soil has almost no effect on achenes and biomass yield. Achenes and biomass yield was primarily affected by weather conditions in particular years, affecting plant growth, disease and predatory occurrence. Fertilizer treatments did not significantly affect the weight of achenes per head, weight of thousand achenes, the number of achenes per head, the number of heads per ha and number of achenes per ha during the experiment. The significant effect of the year was recorded, showing major effect of weather conditions on above mentioned parameters.
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