Yield in agricultural production decreases due to biotic (diseases and pests) and abiotic (salinity, drought, high temperature, etc.) stress factors. Chemical methods have been widely used to fight against biotic stress factors. However, the use of chemicals in agriculture causes extra financial cost and environmental pollution. Improvement of high yielded cultivars via plant breeding methods does not seem to be adequate for meeting food demand of increasing population. That is why, the improvement of environmentally friendly new methods for high yield is obligatory. Leaves in plants form an active surface for photosynthesis. High photosynthetic activity affects yield directly by increasing matter production. The aim of this study was to increase seed and oil yields in sunflower via leaf defoliation. Oil-type sunflower cultivars used in the study, “08-TR-003,” “TR-3080,” and “TARSAN-1018,” were obtained from the “Trakya Agricultural Research Institute.” When plants reached to “star-shaped head stage,” which is the beginning of the reproductive period, four different defoliation treatments were performed. They were control (no leaves removed), two leaves removed, four leaves removed, and six leaves removed. Half of the leaves were removed from just below the head, while the other half was removed from the middle part of the plant. After harvest, seed yield per plant, seed yield per decare, crude protein percentage, crude oil percentage, crude protein yield per decare, and crude oil yield per decare were determined. At the end of the study, it was observed that the application of defoliation, compared to the control, affected all characteristics positively.
Part of the book: Physical Methods for Stimulation of Plant and Mushroom Development