This summer, Sunsation, the partnership between 15 Dutch pot sunflower growers and breeder Evanthia, initiated a trial to see if it is possible to replace or reduce the use of inhibitors by applying a higher EC. Luit Mazereeuw of Evanthia talks about the study and its results.

The growers assess the Helianthus Sunsation trial

In the trial, the standard Sunsation Yellow and some breeding lines were tested. In the setup, part was not treated at all, another part was inhibited applying the regular method and a third received an increased EC. The trial was set up in such a way that it could lead to an indication of whether it might be feasible to replace or reduce inhibitors by giving the soil a higher EC.

The first results are good, the plants with a higher EC remain as compact as the plants that were treated with the conventional method. But not all results are in yet. For example, the flowers haven’t finished blooming, so in that respect definitive conclusions will have to wait. However, according to Luit, the first results do look promising, and it will undoubtedly be worthwhile to do more trials during the next production season. These follow-up trials could look at the optimal relation between inhibiting and/or an increased EC, to further explore the potential of this alternative inhibiting method.

In the course of the trial the group also evaluated a number of promising new hybrids.

The Sunsation collective was founded in March last year and is a group of growers who collaborate with respect to the production and marketing of the pot sunflower Sunsation. This year the collective was also nominated for the Ranking the Grower event.

For more information:
Sunsation Sunflower
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