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Potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) application to sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) reduced cost of production, increased seed oil and protein concentration, yield and net returns on the K and P deficient soils in Northwest Pakistan. Field experiment was conducted at the New Developmental Research Farm of NWFP (North West Frontier Province) Agricultural University Peshawar, Pakistan during summer 2006. The experiment was carried out in a randomized complete block design with split plot arrangements using three replications. Six levels of K (0, 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 kg ha-1) were kept in main plots while four levels of P (0, 45, 90 and 135 kg ha-1) were kept in sub-plots. Increase in K and P levels enhanced seed oil concentration, on the other hand, increase in P level increased seed protein concentration but increase in K level decreased seed protein concentration. Both oil and protein yields per unit area increased significantly with increase in K and P levels. The increase in oil and protein yields of sunflower was mainly attributed to the improvement in yield components and significant increase in seed yield. The highest net returns of Rs. 25268 (grain yield basis) and Rs. 31274 (oil yield basis) was obtained from those plots that received a combination of 100 kg K + 45 kg P ha-1. Application of 100 kg K ha-1 + 45 kg P ha-1 was therefore, recommended for profitable sunflower production in the agro-climatic conditions in Northwest Pakistan.


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