Verified FBN Member (IL)
Agronomy

Sunflowers in the Midwest

We've got the opportunity to contract oilseed sunflowers in the midwest (upper IL). Curious what kind of yields people are seeing in areas with adequate rainfall. We get around 36in a year, and plenty in May-June when we'd be planting them for full season.

We might also try some double crop after wheat too if anyone has experience with that.

Anyone try seeding a clover or cover crop in the sunflowers? We'll probably try that too.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

My father and I raised sunflowers for Cargill for seed production in the early 80’s for 1 year. The yield wasn’t as good as Cargill hoped for that’s why it was only 2 year. There agronomist attributed the reduced yield to climate and soil type. Climate was too humid and soil was too good. But it was neat watching the flowers follow the sun and having 3-4 bee hives per field. Located north of 80 10 miles and west of 39 30 miles.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Thanks, I'm north west of you about an hour. 88 and rt 40 area.

A neighbor is trying double crop sunflowers on 120 ac so we'll see how it goes.

I hadn't thought about humidity, but I can definitely see that being an issue depending on how it lines up with pollination. Right now we are planning on trying both full season and double crop for next year, so we'll see... Ideally we'd have 3000lbs full season, and at least 1200lbs double crop.

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