|Sunflower suffers from a wide range of pests and diseases of which the most important ones are leaf blotch (Septoria helianthii), leaf spot (Alternaria helianthii), and stem rot (Erwinia aroideae). Yield reductions of up to 25% have been reported from effects of leaf spot and leaf blotch. Leaf blotch is a disease found mostly in the early stages of development while leaf spot is usually serious about flowering time. Occasional epidemics of angular leaf spot (Pseudomonas spp.), powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracerum) and charcoal rot (Sclerotium bataticold) or dry rot (Sclerotium rolsfii) have been experienced.
Up to date the only control strategy for the important diseases has been cultivar disease resistance. No chemical control is recommended. Proper crop rotation has been an effective measure to reduce occurrence of diseases.
The most important pests in sunflower include cutworms, termites and head clippers. Control measures of these pests involve appropriate application of insecticide. It is however not advisable to apply any pesticide during flowering. Termites are a big problem in dry seasons. Birds are a problem in sunflower production. The grower is advised to employ some bird scarers to protect the crop.
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|Origin And Botany | Varietal Development And Maintenance | Land Selection | Land Preparation | Planting | Fertilization | Irrigation | Weed Control | Plant Protection | Roguing | Desuckering | Detasselling | Male Elimination | Harvesting Of Sunflower | Field Inspection|