Singulation in Sunflowers

To compare sunflower yields from crops planted with precise and poor singulation (seed spacing).

February 22, 2021 by AGCO

Singulation in Sunflowers

To compare sunflower yields from crops planted with precise and poor singulation (seed spacing).

Study design:  The singulation study was implemented across 2 different sites in Ukraine. Two seed discs were removed from the planter, and two extra holes were drilled in each disc between 2 normal seed holes to simulate 3 seeds being planted close together. On the same disc, two normal seed holes were blocked to simulate two seeds being planted far apart. The seed discs were then reinstalled in the planter and two rows of seed planted in normal conditions, apart from poor seed spacing, along a 50m run in the field.

Results: Poor singulation reduced Sunflower yield by an average of 21%.

Poor singulation reduced Sunflower yield by an average of 21%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impact of seed being planted close together on Sunflower head size.  The competition between plants reduces head size and adversely impact yield.

Poor singulation introduces unnecessary competition between plants resulting in inconsistent Sunflower head size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor singulation introduces unnecessary competition between plants resulting in inconsistent Sunflower head size
Additional Observations: It is better to avoid skips rather than doubles as missing plants will have a dramatic impact on yields.

Recommendations and Equipment Solutions: It important to make sure the planter is maintained and the correct sunflower seed disk selected and vacuum pressure set correctly to avoid skips and doubles. Planters equipped with vSet and VDrive will consistently achieve high singulation accuracy.
Payback: The sunflower singulation study showed that for every 1% reduction in good singulation, there was a lost revenue of $42.00. This equated to a total lost revenue of $210.00/ha because there was 5% poor singulation. Therefore it would take 18.7 ha to payback the cost of the vSet and vdrive system on a MF9108V planter.
Assumptions:
Cost of vSet and vDrive in Ukraine on a MF9108V planter – $3,920.00
Price of Sunflower – $400/t

Written by: Mark Moore, Agricultural Development Manager for Europe and Middle East. Connect with Mark on LINKEDIN. 

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