sunflower seed

Sunflower Cultivation: Introduction to Sunflower Cultivation

agriculture

Sunflower Cultivation: The economic value of sunflower cultivation is the production of oilseed. Highly profitable the oil is used in many manufacturing application to produce cosmetics, soaps, animal feed. They grow well in warm weather in neutral well drained or heavy soil with PH level 6.5 -8.

Uses of Sunflower Oilseed

The oil is used in cosmetic, animal feed, soaps, herbal therapy.

  • Cosmetic
  • Animal feed
  • Soaps
  • Herbal therapy

Verities

Varities are E.C. 101495 (Cernianka), E.C.68413 (Vniimk 8931) and E.C. 68414 (Peredovick). Others include E.C. 68414 (Peredovick), E.C. 69874 (Armaverts) and E.C. 68415 (Armavirskij), E.C. 68415 (Armavirskij).

  • E.C. 101495 (Cernianka)
  • E.C.68413 (Vniimk 8931)
  • E.C. 68414 (Peredovick)
  • E.C. 68414 (Peredovick)
  • E.C. 69874 (Armaverts)
  • E.C. 68415 (Armavirskij)
  • E.C. 68415 (Armavirskij)

Pests and Diseases

A major problem is leaf spot, root rot and leaf rust. Control methods include spraying and drenching the soil. Chemical application are Dithane M-45, Z-76 at a rate of 0.1%.there is also a threat of seed borne fungal disease the sun flower is affected by grasshopper infestation and capitulum borer.

Disease

  • leaf spot
  • root rot
  • leaf rust
  • borne fungal disease

Pests

  • grasshopper infestation
  • capitulum borer

Land and crop rotation

Some farmers apply crop rotation methods to sunflower cultivation. Rotate the crop with sugarcane, potatoes, maize. Land preparation is done prior to planting season by ploughing the ground at least 10cm.

Apply irrigation and sow 8kg seeds per hectare, irrigate the soil frequently at least 5-10 times from germination to flowering period. Use organic or inorganic fertilizer at a 20/30/20 ratio per hectare.

Weed control

Put in place weed control methods to reduce competition. Weed regularly first 2 months and apply earthing along rows. If the soil has low fertility apply compost and fertilizer. Sow seed at 10kg per hectare 60cm apart spacing of 20cm. sow them in 4 cm depth with manual or mechanized means germination occurs in 2 weeks

Pre-harvest considerations

To achieve optimum yield a farmer needs to reduce pre-harvest losses. Things that affect final product are transportation, packaging, storage, threshing method and processing.

Apply proper harvesting methods to reduce losses. Use improved processing techniques, mechanization, storage and packaging. Adopt pest control measures, proper handling, loading or threshing methods.

Guide post-harvest technology

Harvesting

With proper irrigation under ideal rain-fed conditions grain yield per ha 500-1000kg harvest when seed moisture is20%. Cut mature heads when bracts is dry and lower head turns yellow.

Maturity is reached in 3 months most harvesting is done by hand with a cutting implement. Local method involves dried heads beaten to separate seeds, cleaned seed dried in storage gunny bags. Make sure the sunflower seeds are dried before storage.

Marketing

Sunflower production is profitable with huge market. Market includes cosmetic companies, soap manufacturing companies and oil mills.

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