Yield and Yield Components of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) as Affected by Micronutrient Application and Vermicompost in Two Kerman and Bardsir Regions

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Birjand University, Birjand, Iran.

2 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran.

3 Department of Animal Science Faculty of Agriculture, Birjand University, Birjand, Iran.


Despite the importance of oily crops in development of Iran, there are few studies on nutrition with micronutrient in these crops, especially for safflower. Safflower, a deep rooted oilseed crop, is grown in many areas of world because it can be used as oil crop, vegetable, birdfeed and spices. To achieve the acceptable growth and yield of safflower, it needs the sufficient micro- and macronutrient, so that recently, there has been an increased interest in evaluation of nutrient role in quality and quantity of safflower. Application of vermicompost in oil crop production systems of Iran has been increased; which it can improve soil structure by increasing aggregate stability as well as increase in water holding capacity and aeration. On the other hand, micronutrients are nutrients required by plants in small quantities to organize a range of physiological functions. The deficiency micronutrients is widespread in many parts of the country due to cultivation of high yielding varieties, intensive agriculture and increasing use of sulphur free fertilizers in large quantities with concomitant decrease in use of organic manures. There is little information on interaction of vermicompost and micronutrients combination on safflower. thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the effect of combinations of three important micronutrient consisted of sulphur, zinc and boron on yield and yield components as well as dry forage production of safflower in different vermicompost treatments.

Material and Methods
In this research, the effect of micronutrient application and vermicompost was examined on yield and yield components of safflower in Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center of Kerman Province in two Kerman and Bardsir regions. The treatments were included vermicompost factor at two levels (0 and 6 t ha-1) and micronutrients combinations at 12 levels (no use, 100 kg ha-1 S, 200 kg ha-1 S, 3 ml L-1 Zn, 2 ml L-1 B, four twofold and two triplet combinations of the 3 micronutrients). A factorial experiment based on randomized block design (RCBD) was used. Vermicompost and S were used before planting as soil apply, while Zn and B were applied as foliar application. Dry forage at the flowering early and branch number per plant, head number per plant, grain number per head, weight of 1000 grains and grain yield at final ripening were determined. Analysis of variance, means comparisons (LSD at 5% probability level) and correlation coefficient were done in SAS software.

Results and Discussion
The results showed that application of vermicompost and micronutrient had positive and significant effect on head number per plant, grain number per head, weight of 1000 grains, dry forage and grain yield in both places. These could be attributed to improved soil porosity, water holding capacity and aeration caused by vermicompost. Vermicompost are also known as sources of plant nutrients and can improve soil physicochemical characteristics. Growth and yield of safflower plants in Kerman was significantly more than those in Bardsir, which was probably due to better conditions of soil in Kerman. Kerman had greater amount of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous as well as higher level of soil organic matter. On average, vermicompost application at 6 t ha-1 was associated with 347 and 54 kg.ha-1 increasing in dry forage and grain yield, respectively. In the other hand, the highest dry forage and grain yield were obtained from plants treated with 200 kg ha-1 S, Zn and B as 2104 and 1433 and 1433 kg ha-1, respectively. Stimulated photosynthetic activity and synthesis of chloroplast and protein in result of micronutrient application might be reason of greater yield in these treatments. The grain number had the highest correlation with forage production and yield.
In general, the result of this study revealed that in both places, vermicompost and micronutrient application had positive interaction, so that the greatest forage and grain production were observed in vermicompost application with triple combination of S, Zn and B.


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