Verified FBN Member (ND)


Is it a bad idea to plant corn after sunflowers?

I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to plant corn after sunflowers because I been told that the sunflowers can grab all of the nutrients with their tap roots and the corn wouldn't have anything down deep. However, I think if a person banded fertilizer with an air seeder that wouldn't be an issue. The main reason why I want to do this is because I want to build up the soil structure and I believe planting corn after sunflowers can help build the organic matter faster. Any thoughts?


Verified FBN Member (SD)

Where are you located? In South Dakota we follow flowers with spring. The tap root allows the wheat roots to access more of the profile and seems to be a good rotation. After spring wheat we will follow with winter wheat or corn. Wheat will add a lot of OM if that is your goal.


Verified FBN Member (SD)

One because it gives a guy plenty of time to plant winter wheat by combining in summer. Also that's two years of moisture conservation so have plenty for corn

Verified FBN Member (ND)


Im in western ND. How come you guys follow spring wheat with winter wheat? Is there a benefit to doing that or is that just cause?

Verified FBN Member (MN)

I would guess it has to do with moisture... maybe not so much the fertilizer... if the sunflower root goes deep... could run the risk of not enough moisture... seems to be the same risk you run planting corn on corn... but if your like most people this year. Moisture should not be a problem.

Just my thoughts


Verified FBN Member (WY)

Agree. We follow sunflowers with corn once in awhile. Moisture is key, if a dry fall, winter and spring, yield will be disappointing. We typically feel a 10bu per acre loss over wheat stubble, providing the exact same fertilizer program was used on both. I think it’s a lower moisture situation brought on by depleted deep moisture from the flowers but also a inability to store or slow moisture evap...


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