Cultivars, Planting Dates, and Row Spacing Effects on Sesame Seed Yield and Mineral Composition

  •  Harbans Bhardwaj    
  •  Anwar Hamama    
  •  Mark Kraemer    
  •  D. Langham    


This study was conducted to determine if sesame (Sesamum indicum L., Pedaliaceae) could be grown in Virginia. Five proprietary sesame cultivars (22K, S26, S28, S30, and S32) were planted on May 23 and June 8 during 2011 and on July 9 and July 17 during 2012 using two row spacings (37.5 or 75 cm). Effects of cultivars and row spacings on seed yield, and contents of protein and minerals were, generally, non-significant. Effects of planting dates were significant for most traits under study except for contents of Fe and Al. Contents (averaged over two years, five cultivars, two row spacing, four planting dates, and two years) of protein (%), P (%), K (%), S (%), Ca (%), Mg (%), Na (%), Fe (, Al (, Mn (, Cu (, Zn (, and B ( in whole seed sesame were 26, 0.67, 0.51, 0.32, 1.12, 0.33, 0.02, 110, 24, 29, 17, 68, and 13, respectively. It was concluded that earlier planting dates using either 37.5 or 70 cm space between rows are desirable for sesame production in Virginia. Mean seed yield in these studies was 1282 kg.ha-1. Highest seed yields were obtained using closer row spacings and early plantings. The results indicated that sesame could be easily produced as a commercial crop in Virginia.

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