A Guide on Sunflower Farming

A Guide on Sunflower Farming

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About sunflower

Sunflower is one crop in the case of which, the season of planting are not the limiting factors. Sunflower oil is a valued and healthy vegetable oil and sunflower seeds are enjoyed as snack too. Additionally, sunflower seeds are a good source of beneficial plant compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids — which also function as antioxidants. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a living annual plant in the family Asteraceae, with a large flower head (capitulum). The stem of the flower can grow up to 3 metres tall, with a flower head that can be 30 cm wide

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Establishment

Three to four ploughing and disking are sufficient for preparing the land.

Soil should be moist at least 10cm deep before sowing and this condition necessitates good soaking rains or irrigation before sowing

Requirements

  • Climate

This crop requires a cool climate during germination and seedling growth, warm weather from the seedling stage up to flowering and non-cloudy, sunny days during flowering to maturity.

  • Soil

It performs well in deep, neutral and well-drained light soils as well as in heavy soils.

The optimum pH of the soils for this crop is 6.5-8.5.

We recommend proper soil analysis and testing so that you as a farmer maximise profits at low cost

Harvesting and yield

The sunflower crop matures in 90-100 days.

  • The crop has to be harvested when the lower side of the head turns yellow and some of the bracts dry up.
  • The mature heads are cut with a sickle and are dried by exposing the upper side with seeds to the sun. The well-dried heads are beaten with sticks to separate the seeds. The cleaned seed is dried well and stored in gunny bags. The sunflower crop gives a grain yield of 300-500 kg per ha under rain fed conditions and 800-1200 kg per ha when grown under irrigation.

Agronomy of Sunflower Production:

Sunflower is sown by a technique called Dibbling. This method requires about 5-6 kg of seed per hectare, while furrow sowing needs 7.5 -10 kg per hectare. The remaining excess seedlings are thinned after 11 to 15 days when seedling emergence has occurred. Seeds should be treated with captan or ceresan at 3 g/kg seed under dryland conditions Captan is a man-made fungicide usedto control a range of fungal diseases on plants.  In downy mildew prone areas, seed treatment with apron 35 SD at 6g/kg seed is necessary.

Crop rotation in Sunflower Production:

Sunflower is grown in rotation with several crops. Some of the important crop rotations are Maize-sunflower, Paddy-sunflower, Maize-potato-sunflower, Arhar (ageti)-sunflower, Sunflower-safflower, Maize-toria-sunflower, Maize-toria-sugarcane-ratoon-sunflower.

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BECAUSE HUMAN LIFE BEGAN WITH SOIL

About Post Author

Classic Agronomy

Classic agronomy is a start-up agricultural consultancy firm that helps farmers of all levels to maximise their produce by providing agronomic expertise according to the farmer's capacity. It is doing this, to aid in fighting hunger and poverty that comes with climate change and other economic difficulties. Founded by Agronomist Chengetai T Koza
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