Sunflower Farming

Techniques to grow sunflowers

Sunflower is an important oil plant in our country and it is in the 1st place in our oil consumption. 50% of Turkey's raw oil production is provided from sunflower. Oil crop plant in our country is not enough for whole production, this deficit is met by import. For this reason, Ministry of Agriculture pays support fee per kilogram to sunflower producer by taking sunflower among plants for which premium is paid.

Although majority of sunflower cultivation area in Turkey is located in Thrace region, there has been a significant increase in Konya region in recent years. Konya region has important advantages in terms of both oil and seed sunflower farming. There is 23Kr government support per kg for oil sunflower for 2011.

Requests Related to Climate

Sunflower plant can grow in areas with annual 700-800 mm of rainfall or with average 350-400 mm of rainfall during growing period. However, since the amount of rainfall during sunflower growing season in Konya region does not exceed 100-150 mm, it must be grown by being irrigated. Soil temperature must be 8-10 degrees for sunflower seed germination. Temperatures below this have negative effect on this. Sunflower plant can resist temperatures down to -5 degrees during period when its two leaves grow. Resistance of the plant to low temperatures decreases gradually until 6-8 leaf periods. Its adaptability is higher than many other plants. Optimum 21-24 degrees of daytime temperature is necessary for production in sunflower farming.

Soil Preparation

Purpose of cultivating soil in sunflower farming is to mix pre-plant residues with soil, to destroy weeds, to prepare a good seed bed, to provide appropriate humidity, aeration and temperature for germination and growth.  For this purpose, sunflower field is plowed in 20-25 cm deep at the appropriate time when it is entered to the field, in fall if it is possible after previous crop is removed. Sunflower requires a moist seed bed for a smooth exit. In order to enable this, when soil is mellow in spring, the field is made ready for planting by being cultivated in 10-15 cm deep with combination of sweep-rake first.

Click to download relevant section of the book titled “Farmer’s Guide to Plant Production”.

Click to download the book titled “Farmer’s Guide to Plant Production”.