SUNFLOWER FARMING

Helianthus annus, Asteraceae

Origin : Mexico

Sunflower is primarily cultivated as an important oilseed crop. It is widely grown in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. It is valuable from an economic as well as ornamental point of view. Flower head is an inflorescence(Capitulam) made of thousands of tiny flowers called florets.

Its leaves are used for fodder purpose. Flowers produce yellow dye and the seeds produce oil by compression method which has greater market as this refined oil is used for table purpose. Sunflower seeds contain 48-53% edible oil which is most popular because of its light colour, flavor, purity and linoleic acid which is good for heart patients. Seeds can be eaten dried, roasted, or ground into nut butter. Sunflower oil cake is used for stock and poultry feeding.

Varieties and Hybrids

Surya, Morden, Co-1, CO-2, SS-56, PKVSF-9, Bhanu, Kanthi, Jwalamukhi etc.

LSH-1, LSH-3, KBSH-41, TNAU-SUF-7, KBSH-44, Tunga, Phule raviraj, Prabhat etc.

The varieties and hybrid seeds available in our app are as follows

Sunflower Syngenta SB-293

Sunflower seeds GK-202

Climate

Sunflower can be grown in temperate as well as in tropical climates. It requires a temperature of 20-25 drgrees. Controlled environment tests indicate that 27-28 degrees would be the optimum for its better performance. It requires rainfall of 500-700mm.

Soil

It requires fertile well drained sandy loam soil for its better growth and can be grown in black soils as well. It requires a pH of 6.5-8.

Land Preparation

2-3 ploughings has to be given in order to get a fine tilth. Planking has to be done in the crop field. Apply 4-5 tonnes of well decomposed FYM to the field before sowing.

Season

Kharif season-June-July

Summer-February-May

It can also be grown as a zaid crop

Seed rate

It requires seeds of 2-3 kg/acre for varieties. Whereas for hybrids it requires 2-2.5 kg/acre.

Seed treatment

It can be done by using Thiram @ 2g/kg of seeds. Metalaxyl @ 6g/kg of seeds is used to protect from Downy mildew disease.

Spacing

60*30cm spacing has to be followed and seeds should be sown at the depth of 4-5cm.

Sowing

Avoid sowing in acidic and waterlogged soils. Sowing should be done by the end of January as delay in sowing causes pest and disease incidence in turn reduction in yield.

Sowing can be done by Dibbling method. Seeds can also be placed on flat bed or ridge with the help of row crop planter. In case of delay sowing, transplanting method can be followed.

Nursery has to be prepared 30 days before transplanting. For transplanting nursery area of 30sq.m is required for 1 acre area. For seed bed preparation, Urea of 0.5kg along with 1.5kg of SSP has to be mixed.  Seed bed has to be covered with polythene sheet and tunnel. Polythene sheet ahs to be removed after seedling emergence. When they reach 4 leaf stage they can be transplanted into main field.

Fertilizers and Manures

It requires 50kg/acre Urea, 75kg/acre SSP and Potash on the basis of soil test results.

Half dose of Urea and full dose of SSP has to be applied as a basal dose. Remaining Urea has to be applies as a top dressing.

Weed Management

Sunflower has to be kept under weed free condition for the first 45 days. First weeding has to be done 2-3 weeks after sowing. Next weeding after 5th week.

Herbicides like Pendimethalin @ 1 lit in 150-200 lit water/acre as a pre emergence herbicide within 2-3 days after sowing.

Irrigation

In sunflower crop atleast 9-10 irrigations has to be given. First irrigation has to be done one month after sowing. Water stress can be seen when crop is in half flowering stage. During that time irrigation has to be given. Avoid frequent/excess irrigation as it causes wilt/ root rot disease problems. Irrigation has to be given at the interval of 20-25 days for best yield.

Crop Protection

We can observe number of diseases and pests in sunflower crop.

Wilt, Root rot, Downy mildew, Alternaria blight, Rut, Head rot etc

Pests like Tobacco caterpillar, Head borer, Jassids infest the crop

By using suitable Fungicides, Pesticides and Bactericides we can control these diseases and pest infeststion.

Harvesting

It can be done when back of the head turns lemon yellow and leaves dry completely. Harvesting should not be delayed as it leads to lodging of crop.

Yield

On an average we can obtain around 68-75 bushels.

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