Cultivating a sustainable world

The Benefits Of Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are a nutritious and versatile food that offer several health benefits. They are an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and essential micronutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.

The high vitamin E content in sunflower seeds acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against cellular damage and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Additionally, the healthy fats in sunflower seeds help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels and improve overall heart health. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of plant-based protein, making them a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans. Whether consumed raw, roasted, or added to salads, baked goods, and other dishes, sunflower seeds are a tasty and nutritious addition to any diet.

Planting Sunflower

Plant Characteristics:

  • Seed rate: 5-10kg per hectare
  • Potential Yield: 1.5-2 tons/Ha under good management
  • Maturing: 140 days
  • Days to flowering: 55-60 days
  • Spacing: Inter-row spacing of 75cm and intra-row of 30cm
  • Planting depth: 3-6cm.
  • Avoid planting deeper and covering the seeds with big lumps of soil as emergence may be affected.

Planting time:

  • Region I plant in December
  • Region II Plant in January
  • Water and Soil Requirements:

Adaptation: Region I and Region II.

  • Warm soil with a minimum temperature of 13 degrees Celsius
    Rainfall below 350-700 mm per annum and high surface temperature (30 – 40 C)
  • Well-drained fertile soils with a depth of at least 90cm.
    Seedbed Preparation:
  • Does well in a deeply ploughed and fine seedbed

Fertilizer recommendation:

  • 150kg/ha D compound at planting and 100 kg/ha urea at six weeks after planting.

Weed control:

  • Weed control is essential for proper crop growth and development.
    The first weeding is to be done at 2 weeks after emergence followed by the second weeding 6 weeks after emergence depending on weed pressure.
  • Diseases & pests:
    Resistant to most diseases
  • Storage:
    Sunflower seeds may be safely stored in bags at a moisture content below 11%. The seed should be stored in a cool dry place.

Uses of sunflower

  • Used to produce cooking oil.
  • Can be eaten as a snack
  • Sunflower cake used in stock feed

Economic Value:

  • Under good management one hector will give you 1.5-2 tonnes. Oil Production is 20L per 50kg bag and 30 kg of sunflower cake.

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