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Commercial Sunflower Production.
Commercial Sunflower Production.

Commercial Sunflower Production Information

Commercial Sunflower Production:

The following is all about Commercial Sunflower Production.

INTRODUCTION COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Origin of Sunflower: Southern USA (Peru) & Mexico.

In 1972, commercial SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION was started in India with the introduction of  Russian cultivars namely; EC 68413, EC 68414, EC 68415 and Sunrise. The area and production of commercial SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION significantly increased due to following merits of the crops.

  1. Short duration (90-100 days) as it is fit well in multiple and intercropping systems.
  2. Photo insensitivity of crop enables its cultivation in all seasons i.e kharif, rabi and summer.
  3. Wide adaptability: it comes well up in any type of soils.
  4. Drought and saline tolerant: suitable for the best component crop in dry land farming.
  5. High productivity per unit area per unit time with respect to yield of oil.
  6. High seed multiplication ratio (1:80) with low seed rate requirement.
  7. It is the best substitute for groundnut crop in contingency crop planning.
  8. Due to cross pollination nature, there is a great scope for evolution of high yielding composites and hybrids.
  9. Good quality oil with high level of poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) content i.e linoleic and oleic acids. Llinolenic acid is absent.

CLIMATE FOR COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Climate For Sunflower Production.
Climate For Sunflower Production.

The commercial SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION requires a cool climate during germination seedling growth and warm weather from seedling to flowering. Warm and sunny days during flowering to maturity are most favorable.

  • Minimum temperature for germination is 8-10°C but it can germinate even up to 40°C
  • Night temperature of 18-200C and day temp. of 24-260C are ideal for growth, yield and higher oil content.
  • The growing degree days for sunflower have ranged from 1042 to 1300 with base temperature of 100 Lenoleic levels decreases at higher temperature.
  • The crop is photo insensitive as it flowers at wide range of photoperiods. Optimum day length for better yield should be >12 to 14 hours.
  • High humidity accompanied with cloudy weather and rainfall at the time of flowering results in poor seed set.
  • Fairly drought tolerant with deep root system and comes up in areas receiving minimum rainfall of 500-700 mm up to an altitude of 2,500 meters mean sea level (MSL).
  • Latitudinal effect was more significant. Generally it is grown between 400 S to 550 N latitudes but most of the production is concentrated between 200S to 500N latitude.
  • Sunflower grown in Northern USA/Canada has higher linoleic acid (poly unsaturated) due low temperature. On contrary, sunflower grown in southern USA had high percentage of oleic acid due to higher temperature.

SOILS COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  • Sunflower can be grown on wide range of soils but it does best in medium black to black soils with high moisture retention capacity. Sunflower does not with stand water logging. Good drainage is preferable for cultivation of crop. Yield and quality is drastically reduced when soil salinity reaches 10 to 12 ds/m. Optimum soil pH for sunflower in 6.5 to 8.5.

VARIETIES FOR COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  • Maruti.
  • KBSH 44.
  • Pro Sun 09.
  • NDSH – 1.
  • DRSH – 1.
  • MSFH – 8.
  • APSH – 11.
  • Jwalamukhi.
  • Sungene 85.

Hybrids :

  • TNAUSUF 7.
  • DRSF 108.
  • EC 69874.
  • EC 68413.
  • EC 68414 (Russian).
  • Sunrise selection (Canadian).

CROPPING SYSTEMS COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Intercropping systems:

  • Sunflower + groundnut (2 rows:6 rows) or (2 rows :4 rows).
  • Sunflower + finger millet (3 rows:6 rows).
  • Sunflower + soybean (3 rows: 3 rows).
  • Sunflower + green gram/Bengal gram (1 row:1 row).
  • Sequence cropping under rainfed conditions is possible when Rabi crop can be grown on stored soil moisture. Under irrigated conditions, it can be grown in Kharif and Rabi.

Rainfed:

  • Sunflower – Mustard (Every 2 years).
  • Sunflower – Groundnut (Every 2 years).
  • Sunflower – Maize (Every 2 years).
  • Sunflower – Wheat (Every 1 year).
  • Sunflower – Sorghum (Every 1 year).

Irrigated conditions :

  • Rice-groundnut-sunflower.
  • Rice – Rice – Sunflower.
  • Rice – Sunflower – pulses.
  • Rice – finger millet – sunflower.
  • Rice – sunflower.
  • Cotton – sunflower.
  • Mustard – sunflower.

SEEDS AND SOWING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Sunflower Seeds.
Sunflower Seeds.

For quick germination, under rainfed condition the seed should be soaked in fresh water for about 14 hours followed by shade drying as sunflower seeds have thick hulls and imbibes water at slow rate. This process is called seed hardening.

Sunflower seeds cannot be used as seed, immediately after harvest of crop since seeds will have dormancy period ranging from 40-50 days. To overcome the dormancy, treat the seed with ethereal solution for 6 hours.

TIME OF SOWING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Sunflower being a photo insensitive can be grown irrespective of the season.

  • Kharif: Telangana and Rayalaseema: First week of August.
  • Coastal: last week of August.
  • Rabi (rainfed): First F N of step. – First F N of Oct.
  • (Irrigated): November – December.
  • Summer: second FN of January – First week of February.

The sowing date of Sunflower can be adjusted in such a way that flowering period does not coincide with heavy rains because it affects pollination and seed set.

SEED RATE FOR COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Rain fed (kg/ha)

  • Varieties: 8-10.
  • Hybrids: 5-6.

Irrigated (kg/ha)

  • Varieties: 6-7.
  • Hybrids: 4-5.

SPACING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  • Varieties: 45 cm × 30 cm.
  • Hybrids: 60 cm × 30 cm.

METHOD OF SOWING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Line sowing by seed drill is recommended (or) behind the plough. Direction of rows preferably North – South as the sunflower head in phototropic from emergence to flowering. The head and leaves face east in morning and west in evening. Phototropic nature ceases one day before the ray fl878orets open.

  • Depth of sowing: optimum depth of sowing is 4 to 5 cm.
  • Seed treatment: Captan/ Dithane M- 45 @ 3grams/kg seed.

THINNING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  • Done at 15 days after sowing to avoid competition and to maintain single plant/ hill.

MANURES AND FERTILIZERS IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Sunflower Planting.
Sunflower Planting.

Sunflower is highly responding to manures and fertilizers. Apply the fertilizer dose as 82 kg N, 30 kg P and 72 kg K, 9.4 kg Sulphur and 37 kg Ca. Sunflower crop produces 3.2 tons per/ha of stems and leaves. So compost is prepared from the stems and leaves.

Nitrogen is essential for vegetative growth and Phosphorus to improve seed size with proper filling. Nitrogen is most essential element in sunflower production. The response to N, P and K is higher than other oil seed crops. Well decomposed farmyard manure @ 5 to 10 tonnes/ha is applied 2 to 3 weeks before sowing.

Rainfed crop: 60: 40: 30 kg N, P and K per/ ha; ½ N as basal and ½ N at 30 DAS (days after sowing).

Irrigated crop: 80: 60: 40 kg N, P and K per/ ha.

Hybrids responds up to 120 kg N per/ha, P and K is same as above.

  • 1/3rd N, 1 P 2O5 &1 K2O as basal.
  • 1/3rd N at 30 DAS (Button stage).
  • 1/3rd N at 55 DAS (flowering stage).

Sulphur is essential for increasing oil yield; additions of elemental sulphur at 25 @ kg per ha is recommended to soil at last ploughing. The response of sulphur is 13 kg seed/ kg sulphur applied. Single superphosphate (SSP) is the best source for phosphorus as also supplies required sulphur.

  • In Zinc deficit soils, foliar spraying of ZnSO 4 @ 1% is beneficial.
  • Borax @ 0.2 % to Capitulum at ray floweret opening improves the seed filling and oil content.

IRRIGATION IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  1. Sunflower is highly responsive to irrigation. The total water requirement of sunflower is 500-600 mm.
  2. It has the ability to withstand short periods of drought as the crop root system extending up to 2 m depth. One of the reason for preferring sunflower than other crops like groundnut, sorghum and cotton by the farmers was mainly due to stable yields even under low rainfall situations and its physiological plasticity i.e. it completes life cycling tailoring the growth and development to available moisture.
  3. Under moisture stress conditions, centre portion of head is not filled properly and reduce the yield significantly.
  4. The critical stages for moisture in Bud initiation (30 DAS), flower opening (45-50DAS) (most sensitive to moisture stress) and seed filling (60-75 DAS).
  5. The total number irrigations depend up on seasons i.e. 3-6 for kharif and 4-8 for Rabi.
  6. Irrigation should be stopped at 20 days before harvesting.
  7. Sunflower is an excellent indicator plant for identifying the moisture stress.
  8. Irrigation should be given at 50% DASM (Days after sowing to maturity) at all growth stages except at critical stage where irrigation is given at 30 DASM.

Drip irrigation: It is a controlled, slow application of water to soil over a long period of time, usually lasting several hours. The water flows under low pressure through plastic pipe/tubing laid along each row of plants. It reduces water loss by up to 60 percent. Flow rate needs to be adjusted so there is no flooding or runoff. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches.

WEED CONTROL IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION:

  • Sunflower has slow growth rate during 4-6 WAS (Week after sowing) hence weed free condition during the period results in better yields. The crop weed competition in sunflower is 30-45 DAS i.e. 4-6 WAS.
  • Two inter cultivations or hand weedings at 15 & 30 DAS is recommended.
  • PPI: Fluchloralin @ 1 kg/ha.
  • PE: Pendimethalin @ 1 kg/ha.
  • Alachlor @1-1.5 kg/ha.
  • Post Emergence: not recommended since the crop is sensitive to most of the herbicides and pollinating agents are also damaged, however Nitrofen @ 0.5 kg/ha is recommended. Earthing up at knee high stage is recommended to avoid lodging the crop before flower opening.

PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

Sunflower Plant Care.
Sunflower Plant Care.
Common pests and diseasesManagement techniques
Cut wormChlorpyriphos (20EC) @ 3.75 l/ha
White flyImidacloprid @ 0.1ml/lit
ThripsPhosphomidon 0.03%
Tobacco caterpillar(Spodoptera litura)
Endosulphan 0.07% or NSKE 5% or Fenitrothion 0.05%Capitulum borer
(Helicoverpa armigera)Endosulphan 0.07% or Helicoverpa NPV @ 250 LE/ha.
Alternaria blight and leaf spotMancozeb 0.3%
RustZineb 0.2%
Downy mildewMetalaxyl 25WP

HARVESTING IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  1. The sunflower crop is ready for harvesting when the moisture content of seed is 20%. The sunflower head is mature physiologically at 35-40 Days after flowering. It ranges from 90-100 DAS.
  2. The heads are ripe when back of the head turns yellowish brown and lower leaves become brown to dark brown.
  3. The harvesting should be done with the help of sickle by removing the head. The harvested head should be thoroughly sun dried and threshed by beating the center of the head with small stick or threshers are also useful.
  4. Delay in harvesting leads to losses due to birds and shattering in the field itself.

YIELD IN COMMERCIAL SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

  • Rainfed: 10-15 quintals/ha.
  • Irrigated: 20-25 quintals/ha.
  • Stalk yield: 10-12 quintals/ha.

Read Commercial Mango Cultivation.

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