How to Grow Sunflowers? A Guide to Sunflower Farming
Sunflower crop is an extraordinary oil seed crop, which was grown firstly in India. It is grown as unbaked plant crop to meet the market demand for vegetable oil, all over the globe. This crop was firstly introduced in the form of a peg harvest in 1969. Due to its big production capacity and high value over the years, sunflower cultivation has become more popular all over the globe in very short. Growing mass of sunflower will not only provide edible oil but also save foreign exchange in very large extent. There are great health benefits of consuming sunflower oil and its seeds.
This commercial crop is quick in maturing and can tolerate dry, is insensitive to temperature and light, so you can grow this crop all the during a year as a Kharif weather, Rabi weather and Zayed weather. But the best season for planting this crop is the summer because, during summer, there is a great availability of honey bee at this time, which is very helpful and is more important for its higher yield. This crop is very useful for the treatment of vegetable ghee and diseases by its oil.
How long do sunflowers take to grow? it mainly depends on the climatic conditions and the sunflower variety, which is used for the sunflower cultivation. So, grow a fast growing cultivar of sunflower which is also high in yielding to obtain maximum production. But, generally, it takes about 78 to 95 days in Kharif season, 100 to 125 days in Rabi season and 95 to 115 days in the autumn season.
All like the other commercial crop, sunflower crop does not affect more by the day length and the season of cultivation. So, sunflower can be grown throughout the year, excepting the freezing temp.
So, let us learn why there is great demand for sunflower seeds in the market.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds
The following is the list of top health benefits if eating sunflowers seeds daily.
- Sunflower seeds contain 80 % of Vitamin E, which helps in lowering the risk of various heart diseases.
- Sunflower seeds have high antioxidant content in them, which is helpful in preventing many kinds of cancer.
- Sunflower seeds are also helpful in boosting thyroid function.
- Sunflower seeds also help in bone loss, combat osteoporosis, & muscle cramps.
- Sunflower seeds are also helpful in improving the skin health.
- Sunflower seeds are mainly used for preparing the vegetable ghee.
- Sunflower seeds are also helpful in lowering the risk of blood pressure.
- It is also helpful in preventing diabetes up to some extent.
- Sunflower seeds full of protein and minerals, so it is also can be used as weight loss diet.
However, decide you own, how much sunflower seeds to eat daily? and take advantages of it…
Selecting a right sunflower variety is one of the most important tasks, which needs more care and attention. Selecting a fast growing and high yielding variety of sunflower is mainly responsible for the production. Nowadays, with the help of advance sunflower farming techniques, there is numerous kind of sunflower hybrid seed are available in the market.
However, select a right cultivar which is high in production having high oil %age. Also, it should also have toleration to biotic and abiotic stresses. So, that you can produce optimum and earn a lot from this commercial farming.
Note: Please go through the sunflower varieties list, So, that you can learn which can give you more production in short time period.
Where Do Sunflowers Grow?
Climate Condition For Sunflower
This commercial crop can be cultivated on each type of soil throughout the year. But, cool climatic conditions are required during the germination period and also during the growth of sunflower seedlings.
Sunflower seedlings can tolerate frosts condition up to some extent till they bear 4 to 8 leaf during growth development. But, a hot atmosphere is needed in the time interval of the flowering stage from the sunflower seedling stage. Also, hot temp is also required till the maturity.
High humidity along with rainfall and cloudy weather during flowering stage can cause lower seedling and hence less production.
Best Soil For Sunflowers
Sunflower can grow on any type of soil and also soil having controlled pH range and saline soil up to some extent. However, sunflower crop thrives their best in deep loamy soil with an availability of good irrigation and drainage.
The best soil pH for sunflower cultivation is 6.8 to 8.0. So, by selecting proper sunflower variety, you can produce optimum from this cultivation.
How to Plant Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are sown by the Dibbling and furrow method. With the dibbling method, one can sow about 5 to 7 kg of sunflower seeds per hectare land. Whereas with the furrow method, it is possible to plant about 10 kg of watermelon seeds per hectare.
When seedling appears, excess seedling should be thinned after two weeks of the seedling. Also, a proper seed treatment is to be carried out for better germination of sunflower seeds So, that you can achieve a good plant density. A plant population around 50,000 to 75,000 plants per hectare is considered as the best suitable for producing maximum depending on the water availability and sunflower cultivar.
Seed treatment and method of Propagation in sunflower Farming
For quick seed germination and higher production, a seed treatment is to be done. For this soak seeds of sunflower for about 4 to 6 hrs. Shake them in shade and make a difference before splitting.
Seed treatment should be done with any fungicides such as Captain, Thiram, Bavis, Carbendazimdazim etc. so that borne diseases do not emerge later. Then these treated sunflower seeds should be planted at a depth of 5 to 8 cm deep inside the soil by keeping appropriate spacing.
After sowing sunflower seeds on the field, first irrigation should be done after two to three days for better germination.
Sowing of seeds should be done with the help of corn planter.
When to Plant Sunflower Seeds?
It is the common question, ask by the every sunflower grower nowadays. Since sunflower can be cultivated throughout the year but planting them before 15 to 20 days of the last spring frost expects. However, below is a guide for you on growing sunflowers.
Land Preparation for Sunflower Farming
Sunflower crop needs a well crushed, weed-free soil with sufficient moisture supply. Also, soil should have fine tilth form. For this, about two to three normal plowing is enough to bring you soil in fine tilth form.
Make sure about the moisture content. A good moisture content is needed at the time of sowing seeds to get better germination %age. A good germination will ensure a good profit from this crop.
What Month to Plant Sunflowers?
As this crop can be cultivated throughout the year with different climate condition, but planting this crop in the hot climate condition has better results.
So, cultivating sunflower in the hot season, planting of this crop should be done in April is considered as the best for having good results in this commercial crop.
Appropriate Spacing in Sunflower Farming
Planting sunflowers with appropriate spacing mean you are going to produce more from the others. So, always plant with good spacing.
A planting density of 60,000 sunflower plants per hectare is considered as the best on. But, for dry atmosphere, this ranges from 40,000 to 50,000 plans per hectare and region with good water availability, you can plant more than 75,000 plants.
Decide your own, how much plants you want to plant and decide a specific spacing for them.
Irrigation in Sunflower Farming
If you are growing sunflowers as Kharif crop, then there is no need for any irrigation to this crop, but supply once if there is uneven rainfall in your surroundings. Whereas as rabi crop, irrigation should be done thrice, usually after 40, 80, 110 days after planting on the main field.
This crop is very sensitive to water stress during the flowering stage and grain filling stages. So, take care in this interval. Irrigate once, if there is moisture deficiency in this interval. As like other crops, this crop also requires more water supply in the hot season.
At the grain-filling stage in this crop, supply water gently and in the windless evening to avoid water lodging. However, a special care in irrigation during bud initiation stage, flowering stage, and seed development stages is required.
Application of Manure and Fertilizers in Sunflower Farming
This crop is exhaustive and can respond adequately to the timely application of suitable manure and fertilizers.
However, application of 15 tonnes of farmyard manure is good enough for producing more, especially in the drylands & low fertile soils.
Pests and Diseases in Sunflower Farming
Sunflower beetle, Seed weevil (red), Banded Sunflower Moth, Cutworms, Seed weevil (gray), Sunflower moth (head moth), Sunflower stem weevil, Wireworms are the name of some most common pest that usually observed in the sunflower farming.
Learn the symptoms, and take controlling measure as sooner as they appear in your sunflower farm.
Alternaria, Phoma black stem, Downy mildew, Sclerotinia, Sunflower rust are some common diseases that most observed in the sunflower farming.
Learn the symptoms, and take controlling measure as sooner as they appear in your sunflower farm to produce more.
Note: Pest and diseases in sunflower farming should be controlled because of a little presence of cause a big difference in the production.
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
How long do sunflowers take to grow? it takes about 78 to 95 days in Kharif season, 100 to 125 days in Rabi season and 95 to 115 days in the autumn season. A timely sunflower harvesting can yield more so harvest them when the moisture content of seeds is 20 %.
Usually, all the sunflower heads become not ready for harvesting at a time. So, harvest heads when they turn yellowish to slightly brown. About two to three harvesting should be done to obtain quality production.
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After harvesting, dry them in the sunny day. Threshes the beats of sunflower head center through a small stick.
Yield of Sunflower Farming
By cultivating suitable cultivar of sunflower hybrid, with good farm management skill, appropriately an average yield of more than 30 quintals sunflower seeds per hectare can be produced.
So, grow the best and care it to earn a big profit…