Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

All season crop Sunflower Farming gives good income

Sunflower is low irrigation, low cost and early maturing oilseed crop


Sunflower is one such oilseed crop which is cultivated on a large scale in the world. The biggest reason for this is that sunflower has the ability to flourish in every type of soil and climate. It requires less water for irrigation as it is drought tolerant. Sunflower farming can be done at low cost and easily. High quality edible oil is obtained from sunflower seeds. That’s why its produce is sold very easily and at a good price in the market.

Sunflower can be cultivated throughout the year 

Sunflower oil can also be easily extracted from rural crusher or ghani. Therefore, farmers also have the option of extracting the oil directly and selling it and getting a higher price. It can be cultivated throughout the year i.e. in all seasons like Kharif, Rabi and Zayed. But the ripening time of its crop varies according to the season. For example, kharif sunflower is ready in 80 to 90 days, rabi in 105 to 130 days and Zaid in 110-115 days.

Sunflower is the third largest oilseed crop in the world after soybean and groundnut. But in India, sunflower is ranked fourth after groundnut, mustard and soybean. 45 to 50 percent oil is found in sunflower. The color of its oil is light yellow and fragrant. It is a good source of vitamins A, D and E. Sunflower seeds are eaten raw as well as roasted.

Sunflower Farming
Image Credit: tnau

Best edible oil for heart patients 

About 64 percent linoleic acid is found in sunflower oil, which is helpful in reducing cholesterol in the human heart. That is why sunflower oil is considered best for heart patients. Sunflower oil contains 40 to 44 percent protein. That is why it is also considered as the best diet for chickens and animals. This edible oil is also used in the manufacture of ‘baby food’ and cosmetics.

Also Read: Dairy Farming: Know what is the Integrated Dairy Farming Model, how this Jharkhand woman doubled the income of her village


Sunlight has a great effect on the sunflower crop. Plants require cool temperatures at the time of setting, warm temperatures from post-setting to maturity, and clear weather with plenty of sunlight. At the time of flowering in the plants, if there is high humidity in the environment, or if it rains or if the fields remain cloudy for a long time, then the process of seed formation in sunflower flowers is adversely affected. Similarly, the amount of linoleic acid in the seeds decreases if the temperature is high during the ripening stage of the seeds.

Soil and field preparation 

The best soil for sunflower farming is loam. Its pH value should be between 6.5 to 8.5. Fields with neutral, deep, well-drained and well-irrigated fields give excellent yields of morajmukhi. In light soil fields, 1 or 2 deep plowing and two plowing with harrow should be done to make the field weed free. In fields with medium and heavy soils, sunflower should be considered fit for sowing only after leveling the field by doing 2-3 plowing with harrow after rain.

Sowing time 

Sunflower can be sown throughout the year, but do not sow at such a time when there is a possibility of heavy rains at the time of flower and grain formation or the temperature is more than 38 ° C. That’s why for Kharif crop sowing should be done from the last week of June to the last week of July. October to November is suitable for sowing for Rabi crop, then sowing should be done from last week of January to last week of February for Zayed crop.

Sunflower farming
Image Credit: agmarknet (left) & tnau (right)

Seed quantity and its selection 

For better cultivation of sunflower, scientists of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research have developed about a dozen improved seeds. These varieties of seeds are classified as hybrids and hybrid varieties and different varieties are recommended for different states of the country. Farmers should choose only the proposed seeds for their area to get better profit in sunflower farming. As far as the seed rate is concerned, after this, scientists believe that 10 to 12 kg per hectare seeds should be used for complex varieties of sunflower and about 6 kg per hectare seeds for hybrid varieties. 

Cluster and hybrid varieties of sunflower and their proposed area 

State Hybrid Species Complex Species 
Maharashtra MSFH 8, KBSH 1, MSFH 17, LSH 1, LSH 3, PAC 36, PAC 1091, MLHFH 47, KBSH 4, DRSH 1 and LSFH 35 Modern, Surya, LS 11, DRSF 108, DRSF 113, TAS 82 and LS 8
Karnataka Jwalamukhi, Sanjeen 85, MSFH 8, MLHFH 47, KBSH 44, DRSH 1, MSFH 17, PAC 36, PAC 1091 and DSH 1 Modern, NAUSUF 7, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113 
Tamil Nadu MSFH 8, KBSH 1, MSFH 17, Jwalamukhi, Sanjeen 85, PAC 36, PAC 1091, TCSH 1, MLHFH 47, KBS 44 and SH 416 Modern, NAUSUF 7, CO 1, CO 2, DRSF 108, DRSF 113 and KOSFV 5
Andhra Pradesh APSH 11, MSHF 8, KBSH 1, MSFH 17, Jwalamukhi, Sanjeen 85., PAC 36, PAC 1091, KBSH 44, SH 416, DRSH 1 and NDSH 1 Modern, NAUSUF 7, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113 
Punjab KBSH 1, Jwalamukhi, Sangene 85, PAC 36, PSFH 67, PSFH 118, KBSH 44 and DRSH 1 Modern, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113
Haryana KBSH 1, Jwalamukhi, Sangene 85, PAC 36, KBSH 44, DRSH 1 and HSFH 848 Modern, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113 
Gujarat KBSH 1, Jwalamukhi, Sanjeen 85, PAC 36, PAC 1091, MLHFH 47, KBSH 44, SH 41 and DRSH 1 GAUSUF 15, NAUSUF 7, Modern, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113
Other States KBSH 1, Jwalamukhi, Sanjin 85, PAC 36, PAC 1091, KBSH 44 and DRSH 1 NAUSUF 7, Modern, DRSF 108 and DRSF 113 

Sunflower seed treatment and sowing 

Row sowing should be done after preparing the field and selecting suitable seed varieties according to your locality. But seed treatment before sowing is also very important. Sunflower seeds should be dried in a shady place after soaking in clean water for 12-14 hours before sowing to avoid early freezing and drought. To prevent seed borne diseases, Thiram or Capton @ 2-3 gm per kg of seed and Metalaxyl @ 6 gm per kg of seed should be treated to prevent powdery mildew. Before sowing, seed should be treated with Imidacloprid at the rate of 5-6 grams per kg to prevent termites and other pests.

At the time of sowing, the distance between row to row in the field should be 60 cm and plant to plant distance should be 30 cm. Keep in mind that keeping the row-to-row distance of 45 cm and plant-to-plant distance of 30 cm at the time of sowing proves more beneficial for the short-ripening hybrid species. After sowing, when the seeds germinate and the plants start to grow, then it should be kept in mind that the density of the plants should not be high. This may affect the yield. If the planting seems too dense, the distance between them should be adjusted after 10-12 days.

Sunflower farming
Image Credit: tnau

Manures and Fertilizers in Sunflower Farming 

Being a fast growing and high oil yielding oilseed crop, it is very important to provide adequate nutrients to sunflower. For this, 2-3 weeks before sowing, 8-10 tonnes of well decomposed cow dung manure or compost should be used in the field. Apart from this, it is necessary to give 80-90 kg nitrogen, 60 kg phosphorus and 40 kg potash per hectare. Use half dose of Nitrogen and full dose of Phosphorus and Potash at the time of sowing. Apply remaining quantity of Nitrogen as top dressing in equal quantity at 30 and 45 days after sowing.

Irrigation in Sunflower Farming 

The kharif season sunflower does not require much irrigation. But in case of drought, make arrangements for irrigation at the stage of flowering and grain formation. Before sowing in Rabi and Zayed, do Pelwa so that good and uniform quantity of seeds can be set. Irrigation is generally required three to four times in Rabi crop, whereas in Zayed crop, irrigation should be done on 10-15 days.

Importance of cross pollination in sunflower farming 

To get good yield in sunflower farming, cross pollination at the right time is of special importance. Usually cross-pollination is done through bumblebees and bees. But in the area where there is a shortage of these pollinators of nature, there the process of cross-pollination should be completed by the hands of the farmers. For this, the farmers should wear gloves in their hands or move a soft fluffy cloth slowly around the stem of the sunflower flower when the flowers are in full bloom. This work of artificial pollination should be done first on the edge of the flower and then on the middle part by 7:30 in the morning.

Weed control in sunflower farming 

It is necessary to keep the sunflower crop free from weeds for 60 days from freezing. For this, after 18-20 days of sowing, do hand weeding at an interval of 15 days. When the height of the crop becomes 60-70 cm, the work of soiling the plants should be done. For chemical control of weeds, make a solution of Pendimethalin 1 kg or Alachlor 1-1.5 kg active element per hectare in 600 to 700 liters of water and spray it 1 to 2 days after sowing.

Disease and pest management in sunflower farming 

Rust problem: Sunflower crop should be avoided in fields prone to water logging. Still, if due to any reason there is a problem of water getting in the crop, make a solution of Dithane M-45 or Dithane Z-78 per 25 grams per liter of water and spray it at an interval of 15 days. For this, prevention from the problem of rust is also tried at the time of seed treatment and Capton or Thiram 3 grams per kg or Carbendazim 1 gram per kg is used according to the seed rate.

Alternaria blight: Germ free seeds are very beneficial to prevent this disease. Apart from this, adopting crop rotation from a scientific point of view also provides a lot of protection.

Downy Mildew: Plant disease resistant hybrids. Sow the seeds after treating them with Metaloxil at the rate of 6 grams per kg. 

Pest control in sunflower cultivation 

Pest types Management
Cut wormUse Chlorpyriphos at the rate of 3.75 liters per hectare along with irrigation.
Capitulum borer The eggs and larvae of this pest should be collected and destroyed. Spray Cypermethrin (0.005 percent) by making a solution of 500-600 liters of water. 
Tobacco Caterpillar The eggs and larvae of this pest should be collected and destroyed. 
Spray Bihar hair caterpillar green semilooperdichlorvas (0.05 percent) or fenitrothian (0.05 percent) by making a solution of 500-600 liters of water 
Leaf hopper Keep the field and ridge clean. Spray Phosphomidan (0.03 percent) or Dimethoate (0.03 percent) by dissolving the drug in 500-600 liters of water. Or, use Malathion (5%) or Quinalphos (5%) at the rate of 25 kg per hectare. 

Sunflower harvesting and threshing

Sunflower seeds should be harvested when the moisture content in sunflower seeds is 20 percent or when the back part of the heads turn yellow brown. After cutting, dry the heads in the shade. After this it can be threshed with sticks or threshers. The moisture content should be less than 10 percent while storing the seeds.

Sunflower farming
Image Credit: tnau

Sunflower yield 

If sunflower is cultivated by adopting advanced techniques of farming, then its yield is 12-15 quintals in non-irrigated areas and 20-25 quintals per hectare in irrigated areas. That’s why adopting sunflower farming more and more proves to be a great profitable deal for the farmers. 

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