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The Link between Sunflower Planting Mistakes and Harvest Nightmares

August 1, 2016

It might sound a little out of place – talking about planting techniques for sunflowers when harvest is just around the corner – but Syngenta agronomists want to remind growers that planting is the time to cut down on harvest problems.

Many harvest problems are a direct result of planting mistakes. When prepping for harvest this season, observe any areas that may have uneven stand, and make adjustments for next planting season.

An uneven stand with different sized heads can cause a lot of problems when it comes to harvest time, including stalk lodging. Some sunflower heads get very large where there is wide seed spacing. Those large heads weigh more than what the stalk is designed to hold and, during days of high winds, the force of the head swaying back and forth can break the stalk off, which creates a tougher harvest. The photo above is an example of a field that could have harvest problems due to unprecise planting.

Keep these three things in mind when planting sunflowers to ensure a healthy stand:

  1. Select the correct plates. Use plates designed for sunflower fields and more precise planting.
  2. Slow down. Keep planting speeds at around 4 mph.
  3. Make sure planting depth is set correctly. Try to plant sunflowers between 1 and 2 inches deep.

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Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.