A Complete guide towards package of practices of Kharif Sunflower Cultivation !

Sunflower is one of the most important oilseed crops grown in India. It is a major source of Oil in the world. Sunflower oil is considered a premium oil rather than other vegetable oils and it has a big demand in the market. India is a major producer of oil seeds and it has a huge market demand which is very effective for the farmers.

Sunflower Cultivation –

Climate & Soil -The crop requires a cool climate during germination and seedling growth. Sunflower grows happily in sandy loam soils and also black soils. The soils should be well-drained and fertile. The crop can also withstand slightly alkaline soils. . The pH of the Soil should be 6.0-8.0.

Land Preparation- 2-3 ploughing should be done followed by planking. Remove all the stubble or plant parts left over from the previous crop. Make the plot weeds free before sowing. A good soil tilt should be maintained for the sowing of the crop.

Sowing – The optimum time for sowing sunflowers is June-July for the Kharif season. Avoid late showing because that might hamper the yield.

Spacing- Hybrids: 60 cm x 30cm ,Varieties: 45 cm x 30cm

Seed Treatment- Seed Treatment is essential for controlling seed-borne fungal diseases, seed treatment with either Brassical or Captan @3g per kg of seed is recommended. The pre-soaking of seed for 12-24 hours ensures a rapid and high percentage of germination, early emergence and establishment of the crop. Treat the seed with Trichoderma @4g/kg.
Seed Rate- seed rate of 8-10 kg per hectare is sufficient to ensure a good crop.

Varieties – TNAU SUF-7, DRSF 108, LSF 8, Bhanu, BSH-1, LSH 3, PKVSH 23, Phule Ravindra.

Fertilizer Management- Fertilizer Requirements for Sunflower are, NPK dose of 60-80 kg nitrogen, 60 kg P2O5 and 40 kg K2O per hectare has been found optimum for sunflower. Two-thirds quantity of nitrogen and whole of phosphorus and potash should be applied as basal dose at the time of sowing. The remaining dose of nitrogen should be top-dressed at the time of the second irrigation (flowering stage). Sunflower being an exhausting crop manuals and fertilizers should be added to an adequate level of the soil.

Harvesting – The sunflower crop matures in 90-100 days. The crop has to be harvested when the lower side of the head turns yellow and some of the bracts dry up. The mature heads are cut with a sickle and are dried by exposing the upper side with seeds to the sun. The well-dried heads are beaten with sticks to separate the seeds.

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