Considering growing sunflowers - Page 5 - The Combine Forum
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post #41 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 12:31 AM
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I was fairly happy with them.

The yield was around 50 bu/ac with 31-32 lbs being my bushel weight. That number is impacted by the 20 acre intercrop that slowed the flowers a bit.

They stood good, I thought at least. Dont have any others years to compare to, but they were anywhere from above my head to chest height. The solid seeding likely impacted this as populations were sometimes pretty thick.

There was some sclerotinia, but not enough to really affect the yield or the price, could just see the odd white head from the cab. As for birds, I think there was some, a few heads that had the outside seeds missing.

I have no idea about the oil content, but they are for the bird seed market, so I dont think it was much of a concern anyway.


I certainly would grow again! Since I am just getting going on the farm, they may not be grown next year as it wont quite work with my rotation unless I can find some more land (trust me I am trying!). Hemp is going on the only ground it could work OK on.

At .25/lbs, delivery 2 weeks after harvest with the option to deliver as tough as 18%, it took a lot of the risk away.

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post #42 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 08:56 AM
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The flowers were a wreck again this year -- had a big wind in July when it was wet out and they fell down .Some fields lost over half the plants .

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post #43 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 10:14 AM
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The flowers were a wreck again this year -- had a big wind in July when it was wet out and they fell down .Some fields lost over half the plants .
Stop planting express flowers and put them in at 2"+ deep

Oh, if I am wrong and you have confectionery just screw them, let someone else make the "big bucks" lol!

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post #44 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 09:10 AM
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Stop planting express flowers and put them in at 2"+ deep

Oh, if I am wrong and you have confectionery just screw them, let someone else make the "big bucks" lol!
The first year I had grown them I planted them deeper and had really poor emergence -- they don't like coming up from under clods of mud very well . And last year I don't now if it was a chemical from the previous year or what but poor emergence again and yellow stunted plants . Had sprayed authority on the field after seeding it so it wasn't getting into the seedrow .
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post #45 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 09:15 AM
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The first year I had grown them I planted them deeper and had really poor emergence -- they don't like coming up from under clods of mud very well . And last year I don't now if it was a chemical from the previous year or what but poor emergence again and yellow stunted plants . Had sprayed authority on the field after seeding it so it wasn't getting into the seedrow .
What pop are you starting with and what are you seeding with?

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post #46 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:53 PM
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One thing you might consider is blackbird pressure. If you have a lot of cattail slews and shelterbelts around blackbird damage can become a BIG problem. I have quit raising sunflowers primarily because I couldn't keep from having 1800-2000lb flowers turn into sub 1500lb after the birds had their fill.
How cool would it be to have a couple drones that fly back to their charging station when they are out of gas.

The rest of the time they patrol the fields looking for the birds and scaring them away.

Until the drone doesn't come home and you have to wonder where in 500 acres it went down.
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post #47 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 07:11 PM
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What pop are you starting with and what are you seeding with?
I think I was going with 22000 per acre and am seeding now with an air drill ( flexi coil 5000 ) before it was with an air seeder Flexi 820 .
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post #48 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 10:37 PM
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I think I was going with 22000 per acre and am seeding now with an air drill ( flexi coil 5000 ) before it was with an air seeder Flexi 820 .
How much rain you get?

Here guys run 18-20 with the planter and 25-27 with the air drills. The 27k works out where there is just enough seed to get a pretty fair distribution across the seeder.

I have been planting above 32k with my twin row and love the stand quality and how consistent the stand is at the higher pop.

Weed control this way has been awesome, black bird damage has been near zero and the oil has been around 50.

So far I haven't had disease issues but I have been watching very closely but I keep my eyes peeled for bugs anyways.

Bugs are the #1 enemy and using warrior and lorsban together does a very good job for dirt cheap.

I realize planting at 32+ isn't for everyone but I had a great crop this year on 5". Next year's crop will be interesting. A sunflower plant can consume 9 gal per plant so if you have some sour ground you need to clean up some wet spots they work

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