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  • 1 Agricultural Institute Osijek Osijek Croatia
  • 2 J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek Faculty Of Agriculture in Osijek Osijek Croatia
  • 3 University of Debrecen Institute of Crop Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Debrecen Hungary
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Oil crops constitute the second most important field crops worldwide and are important both in Hungary and Croatia. Among the oil crops, sunflower has a significant role in Hungary (∼550,000 ha) and Croatia (∼30,000 ha). The main aim of this study was to compare sunflower yields and their variation over years (2000–2007) in the eastern parts of Hungary and Croatia, with the emphasis on the impact of rainfall and temperature regime, and using a rain factor (RFm) calculated monthly as the quotient of precipitation (mm) and mean air temperatures (°C). The results showed that the year had a different effect on the yield of sunflower in the different counties of eastern Hungary and Croatia, because of their different soil conditions. The results proved that the highest yields of sunflower (2140–2710 kg ha−1) were obtained in years when the rainfall before and during the vegetation period was 110–130 mm and 350–420 mm, which was very similar to the 30-year mean data (82–108 mm and 305–346 mm, respectively). The strongest correlations (positive and negative r values) between meteorological data and sunflower yields were found in counties with unfavourable soil conditions. In counties with better soil fertility the correlation coefficients were smaller, indicating that better soil conditions can compensate for unfavourable year effects (especially temporary shortage of rainfall or unfavourable rainfall distribution).

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