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Sunflower yields can be estimated using the tried and true method that is used during the annual sunflower survey. Typically, September is an ideal month to estimate yields. Sunflowers should be at R7 stage of growth.
Components needed to estimate yield are: harvestable plant population per acre, average head diameter, seed size, percent good seed set in heads, and center seed fill. Each of the measured yield components are assigned multipliers from the charts below. These are multiplied by 2450 to give estimated yield goal.
Yield estimate in lbs per acre is determined by taking the multipliers for plant population x multiplier for head diam. x multiplier for seed size x percent good seed set x multiplier for center seed set x 2450. So for example to determine the estimated yield for a field that has a plant population of 17000, average head diameter of 8.0 inches, seed size “medium-heavy”, 98 % seed fill and no seed in the center inch, the formula would be as follows; 2450 x 0.85 x 1.00 x 1.1 x 0.98 x 0.975=2188 lbs/acre. Estimating yield in 3 to 4 spots per field and averaging the results will result in a better estimate.
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