Rapid response prevented the negative impact of meadow caterpillar on sunflower yield

(TÜ) Plant Breeding Application and Research Center Director and Head of the Department of Genetics and Bioengineering Prof. Dr. Yalçın Kaya said that the caterpillar infestation did not reduce the yield, as it was thought, and that the benefit of early intervention was seen.
Kaya stated to the AA correspondent that the sunflower harvest, which started throughout Thrace, will take about 2 more weeks.
Reminding that sunflowers were planted on an area of ​​approximately 1 million 100 thousand decares in Edirne, Kaya emphasized that an average yield of 200 kilograms per decare was obtained in the harvested areas.
Noting that the sunflower yield was higher than expected despite the dry season this year, Kaya said:
“We actually entered the season very well this year, the rainfall was good, the condition of the plant was good. I predicted that it would be a record year. However, after April, there was no rain, especially around Edirne. There were extreme temperatures, perhaps the hottest months of recent years. Sunflowers are unfavorable. “We expected a worse yield, we were afraid that the oil rates would drop too much. But it did not happen. Of course, the yield was not very high, but we can say that it is the best of the worst. The yield is about 200 kilograms per acre.”
Kaya attributed one of the reasons for the good yield to be that the newly developed varieties are more resistant to drought.
– “The caterpillar invasion was dealt with very quickly”
Reminding that the caterpillar infestation seen in sunflowers in the region this season was prevented by the measures taken, Kaya said, “The caterpillar invasion was responded to very quickly. Immediate spraying was done with drones. The damage to the sunflower was minimized as much as possible. In general terms, there was a yield loss of around 3-5 percent.” said.
Kaya added that sunflower cultivation areas in the region have increased in recent years.
In mid-July, an infestation of meadow caterpillars was encountered in sunflowers in Thrace. In some areas, its population worried the producer. The caterpillar, which was later seen in Istanbul, Çanakkale and Bursa, was fought from the air under the coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry teams in a short time, and the invasive species were eliminated from the fields.

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