1st western Canadian sunflower crop - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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1st western Canadian sunflower crop

I didn't want to hijack another sunflower thread going on now...
I was considering giving sunflowers a try on a 16 acre field near home... or on a main road to get neighbors talking!
I know nothing other than bits and pieces I've read about here.
Can it be done central alberta?
Can I get by with a Draper header?
Should it not be following canola due to disease?
Any good variety for our area in particular?

My brother has a bag sewing machine and dad has a seed cleaning plant... so I'm considering bagging it myself and selling locally...

Am I crazy??


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by AnviL View Post
I didn't want to hijack another sunflower thread going on now...
I was considering giving sunflowers a try on a 16 acre field near home... or on a main road to get neighbors talking!
I know nothing other than bits and pieces I've read about here.
Can it be done central alberta?
Can I get by with a Draper header?
Should it not be following canola due to disease?
Any good variety for our area in particular?

My brother has a bag sewing machine and dad has a seed cleaning plant... so I'm considering bagging it myself and selling locally...

Am I crazy??
I dont see why you couldn't do it there. 16 acres would be a good start.
16 acres could be cut with a draper but far from ideal.
If you can find an old deere all crop they work pretty darn good if maintained, that big word "if" because they are getting pretty old.
Given your location is there anyone up there with flexi-finger corn pans? They actually work pretty good. Takes a little getting use to setting that or the heads will get hooked up on the bats.
You could maybe get by after canola with oils but dont put canola behind sunnies.
But general rule of thumb put a year between them because of white mold.

You get it bagged and sold you will be in the chips!


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 03:02 AM
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get some of the "sunflower Pans" for draper header, they stick out front to catch any heads falling


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips!
There is no corn combined around here whatsoever.... any corn grown goes into silage. But I will look into the flexxfinger things.

Keep calm and combine on....
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:10 PM
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tried it maybe six or eight years ago i south east sask .... put in straight black confectionary grade, wound up bagging and selling for bird feed .. did okay., 10 acres , used an old jd 96 with a draper header to take it off when the snow came

regards, warren
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 05:30 PM
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I've considered it too, central Manitoba, never looked to deep into it though, not crazy about when you harvest them!! Seen them grown about 20 miles east of me, but it was on lighter soil and quite a bit lower elevation, so a longer growing season with more heat. Probably make more doing 16 acres and marketing it like that than you would doing a full section and selling to a buyer.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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So is there variants that have shorter growing seasons that would be best suited to my area?
I read in the other thread that a plant population of about 40,000 per acre is a good target?
What kind of yield can one loosely expect if all goes well?

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 10:59 PM
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I like sunflower seeds. I will buy a sack (50 lbs.), dill or seasoned flavor roasted!

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 12:45 AM
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We put in 150ac of oils this year for the first time. Planted with a planter on 30in spacing. We purchased a 8 row JD all crop head....model 853 for $2500 and adapted it to our 760 Claas. Header worked great. They were planted into heavy land that we just rented this spring. This land is one of the ugliest pieces around here....has undrained potholes and lots of alkali and hasn't had much if any chemical for several years. There were kochia patches as well as a lot of millet patches were the sunflowers didn't grow. The yield was 1600 lbs per acre and we hope to sell for 22 or 23 cents a lb. Not bad considering we didn't use much fert and the rent was free! They did get Reglone this fall with a plane. As a comparison the neighbor who grew some on good land that was clean to start with got 3000 lbs an acre.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Are sunflowers something that can be desiccated or is that a no-no due to use for bird seed... or do you gotta let them ripen naturally?

And how do you know when they're ripe for the pickin' ....? I heard you just have to get them before the birds do....


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