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Sunflower planting has started across the Northern Plains

May 17, 2016

Planters are rolling across fields in the Northern Plains. According to the USDA, 21 percent of sunflower crops in North Dakota are already in the ground.

The National Sunflower Association says growers are taking advantage of the good planting conditions by planting early to get the crop harvested as soon as possible and maximize return on investment. Before racing to the fields to plant, North Dakota State University outlines these main areas to consider:

  1. Seed quality – Seeds should be uniformly sized to allow precision in planting. Sunflower hybrids with Unistand™ technology provide growers with easier, more accurate planting and improved crop emergence. Unistand always produces a size 3 seed that consistently delivers excellent singulation during planting.
  2. Tillage – Tillage can be used to control weeds and incorporate herbicides in preparation for planting. BroadAxe® XC herbicide provides broad-spectrum residual control of early-season weeds in sunflowers.
  3. Seedbed preparation – Sunflowers require proper seedbed conditions to optimize stand establishment. Maintaining a moist seedbed is important if growers want uniform germination and emergence across the field.
  4. Row spacing and plant population – Fields with a row spacing of less than 20 inches are considered to be solidly seeded. Equally spaced seeds can help produce a uniform sunflower stand, which helps maximize resources like water, nutrients and sunlight.

Errors made at planting can haunt growers throughout the season. Syngenta recommends using best agronomic practices and utilizing all the tools in a grower’s toolbox to help start strong, and ultimately grow more sunflowers.

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