Production Technology of Sunflower

Production Technology of Sunflower


Muhammad Nazar

Department of Agronomy, UAF

Correspondence email: [email protected]


Botanical name:         Helianthus annus

Family:                       Compositae

Local name:              sooraj mukhi


Edible oil is the essential component of our food but we are producing only 20% of our need and remaining 80% is imported to fulfill the requirement.Keeping in view the factor of population pressure we have to increase our local production of oil.Sunflower is the best crop to achieve that potential because its seed contain 40% good quality oil.

Origin and History:

Sunflower originated in the southwestern United States, or somewhere in Mexico. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century and imported into Russia from Holland in the 18th century. In Pakistan, sunflower was first introduced as an oilseed crop in the 1960’s.

Soil Type:

Heavy soils are most suitable for sunflower cultivation. Sandy and water-logged soils are not desirable for sunflower production.

Seedbed preparation:

Sunflower has a well-developed root system, deep ploughing with a moldboard plough is necessary. Deep ploughing is necessary to break the hard pan in rice cultivated lands. Laser land leveler should be used to level the field.

Time of Sowing:

Timely sowing of sunflower is necessary to get more yield. In case of late sowing, oil content decreases and yield losses occur. Throughout the country sunflower is grown in two seasons: spring and summer.

Spring sunflower crop:

1st Jan to end of Feb

Summer sunflower crop:

1st July to 10 August

Seed rate:

Seed rate depends upon soil type, germination percentage, time of sowing and method of sowing.

2-2.5 kg of hybrid seeds having germination percentage more than 90% should be used per acre.

Sowing & Geometery:

Sunflower sowing can be done through planter, dibbling, single row cotton drill and Kera method. Row to row distance should be 2.25-2.5 inches and plants should be 9 inches apart in case of irrigated areas and 12 inches apart in case of rainfed areas.

Fertilizer requirement:

Fertilizer requirement of sunflower is 60 kg/acre nitrogen, 40 kg/acre phosphorous and 25 kg/acre potassium.

Irrigation requirement:

Generally, four to five irrigations are required for the crop but it also depends upon weather conditions. First irrigation should be given 20 days after emergence, second 20 days after first irrigation, third at head formation, fourth at grain formation and last at the milk stage.


Thinning is one of the operations essential to maintain the desired plant population. For this purpose, weak or abnormal seedlings should be uprooted before the first irrigation is given.

Weed control:

Control of weeds during the first eight weeks after emergence is crucial. Weed control can be done through hoeing and pre/post emergence herbicide application.

Insects of sunflower:

Jassid, Whitefly, Aphid, Cutworm, Armyworm and  Mealy bugs are the major insects causing problems.Instead of chemicals application, Biological control should be used to control these insects.

Diseases of sunflower:

Charcoal rot, Head rot, Leaf blight, Downy mildew, Powdery mildew are the diseases affecting this crop.Seed treatment with fungicides can be helpful in controlling fungal diseases.

Harvesting and storage:

Sunflower crop matures when back of flower head turns yellow and the leaves become grayish white and moisture content of seed is 30-35%. For storage, the seed moisture content should be 8-10%.


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Saad Ur Rehman Saadi
Saad Ur Rehman Saadi

My name is Saad ur Rehman, and I hold a M.Sc (Hons.) in Agronomy and MA in Journalism. I am currently serving as an Agriculture Officer in the Agriculture Extension Department. I have previously worked with Zarai Tarqiati Bank as an MCO. With my education in agriculture and journalism, I am able to effectively communicate issues that affect farmers' daily lives. In recognition of my community and literary services, I was awarded a gold medal by the government.

Articles: 186


  1. Brother! I am also Agriculture graduate. I plucked the degree of MSc Honors in Agronomy. Now I am working as Deputy Director Horticulture in District Mardan.
    I am very much interested in literacy services. Would you like to guide me in this regard.

    • sir i am muhammad younas i am in need of job if you have any opportunity for me kindly regards me 03055661438

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