1st western Canadian sunflower crop - Page 2 - The Combine Forum
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 05:48 PM
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Don't schedule any winter holidays until after your flowers are in the bin and dry. You never know when you are going to get them finished (unless you desiccate and even then....). I have seen a combine, harrows and seeder all working one sunflower field in the spring (amazingly not my field). It won't stop raining here so my flowers are all still in the field, mine are not the only ones.

If you have an older combine (or maybe a newer one, I don't have much knowledge of the newer ones) you need to unhook the exhaust from the pre-cleaner on the air intake. Once that is done build some caps out of steel to cover the two holes. This will drastically reduce the number of fires you have. The sunflower dust builds up on the inside of the crossover tube then comes off in lumps into the hot exhaust which blows embers all over the place. It took me several small fires and much longer than it should have to get that one figured out. Felt like a bit of a moron for not figuring that one out before. If your combine is going to burn it will likely be in a sunflower crop.

There is little you can do about blackbirds other than grow enough of them in one spot to reduce your bird losses as a percentage of your total. Starlicide apparently works well but I have no idea how one would get ahold of it, I have tried. The only other thing that I have seen work on them was a small falcon that seems to sport hunt the blackbirds. I said really nice things about the falcon and smiled nicely at it but that was not enough for it to stay around. Hopefully it comes back next year. Inside of a week of it's arrival the flock of hundreds of blackbirds was down to a flock of less than twenty. I don't think it killed them all, guessing that most of them just decided the sunflowers were not worth the risk and moved on.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I'll keep it to a small field if I do try it... our combines are pretty new... dont feel like burning one up too badly.
Are desiccated sunflowers much less desirable or are they bad when used for bird seed?


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:22 PM
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I'll keep it to a small field if I do try it... our combines are pretty new... dont feel like burning one up too badly.
Are desiccated sunflowers much less desirable or are they bad when used for bird seed?
Never known if a problem desicateing but I lean towards not doing it, reason being is you want the plant wet as possible so you dont have dust

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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The more I read the more I worry about burnin a combine.... so that little piece of advice is greatly appreciated.... and so simple... yet I wouldn't have thought of it...
That's the little insights you get from people who have done it before.
thank you

Keep calm and combine on....
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 11:51 PM
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The more I read the more I worry about burnin a combine.... so that little piece of advice is greatly appreciated.... and so simple... yet I wouldn't have thought of it...
That's the little insights you get from people who have done it before.
thank you
Dont let that scare ya, try it, if it works do it.

What ya got for a combine?

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Family farm. We have a couple case 9230's
I've been thinking about different things to try to get to a better rotation for my land... sunflowers I think are not feasible as a rotation crop.... but just thought I could get the neighbour's talking.... and thought it would look neat.

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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 01:18 PM
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Yo Anvil. Did ya seed any sunflowers? I experimented with fabas last year and it went well, well enough to try again this year anyway. Just saw an article about sunflowers which apparently do well in dry conditions with a taproot that grows deep, fast. Reminded me of this thread.

Not sure if there's much of a bulk market in AB with the spitz factory closed.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 03:38 PM
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Grew some last year. Dry spring until a wet june and beginning of July then no rain until the end of september. Test weight was light. They looked good through the dryness though. 13-1400 lb/A No fert but soil test N was high.

Didn't start combining until January but we had a wet fall. Last stuff I combined was a couple days after easter and getting down into the 6-7% moisture. Never had any fires or embers but I made sure to blow it off at the end of every day and change the cut direction to minimize the dust blowing back on the machine. The CaseIH spreaders seem made to throw dust up into the radiator. I would look hard at making a chimney to cover the screen for flowers. CR with a MAV doesn't seem to have that problem.

Converted a 1010 with pans and reel to fit the CR. Worked good. Would not want to be without the reel.

Got quite a bit done on the combine this winter since it was sitting in the heated shop the whole time, ha.

The whole process wasn't too traumatic. Put some more in this year.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:58 PM
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I’m thinking I might seed some next year. Can I use a 40’ Mcdon with cross auger to harvest? can I solid seed them. And how much fertilizer? Or Do I make a pass with air drill to fertilize and use a planter?
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:57 PM
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Grew some last year. Dry spring until a wet june and beginning of July then no rain until the end of september. Test weight was light. They looked good through the dryness though. 13-1400 lb/A No fert but soil test N was high.

Didn't start combining until January but we had a wet fall. Last stuff I combined was a couple days after easter and getting down into the 6-7% moisture. Never had any fires or embers but I made sure to blow it off at the end of every day and change the cut direction to minimize the dust blowing back on the machine. The CaseIH spreaders seem made to throw dust up into the radiator. I would look hard at making a chimney to cover the screen for flowers. CR with a MAV doesn't seem to have that problem.

Converted a 1010 with pans and reel to fit the CR. Worked good. Would not want to be without the reel.

Got quite a bit done on the combine this winter since it was sitting in the heated shop the whole time, ha.

The whole process wasn't too traumatic. Put some more in this year.
We have a CR with standard chopper and only have to blow off engine once sometimes twice a day.

As far as sunflowers after canola, if I recall, our crop insurance wont even insure them if put on canola ground. I've never done or tried it but that tells me its not a good idea.

You want about 1lb of N for every 20lbs of yield goal. We shoot for 2000lbs here so 100lbs total N in the dirt at planting.

We generally don't put down any P since sunflowers do mine deep for nutrients, and we aren't set up all that well to apply before planting unless we use the air seeder. Even at our 2000lbs goal it's not uncommon to see 2400-2800lbs either.

You can solid seed sunflowers if you choose, but I dont recommend it. Many around us that solid seeded in the past have either hired or gone to 30" rows. I dont know your growing season length but we only seed around 21,000 population.

Try to combine around 12-14% moisture to keep the dust down. Any wetter and oil sunflowers get sticky and goo up the combine, but they can be takin wet. We've done some up to 18% in a bind.


Last edited by case; 06-06-2019 at 10:03 PM.
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