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How to Increase Income through Sunflower Cultivation? 5 Important Tips

The article talks of how farmers can increase income and increase yield of sunflower crop by considering a few important points.

Shipra Singh
Sunflower field
Sunflower field

Sunflower cultivation in India has led to a rapid increase in oilseed production in the country since 1980’s and 90’s. Sunflower oil is loved by consumers for cooking. At the same time, farmers love to grow sunflower due to a string of advantages.  

5 characteristics that make sunflower a preferred crop by farmers 

  • It is a short duration crop, just 80-115 days. That’s why it proves to be a good Zaid crop, giving farmers a good income alternative between Rabi and Kharif duration.  

  • Due to its drought resistance quality, as shown by hybrid variety PAC-36, farmers of such areas have a better livelihood options by growing sunflower. It is readily grown in Karnataka, Marathwada, and Rayalseema. These areas are chiefly rainfed and sunflower is a great crop option. 

  • It can grow in diverse soil and agro-climatic conditions. 

  • Pest and disease management of sunflower is easy through timely measures. 

  • Sunflower is a cash crop, meaning it can give farmers good income. It is one of the most lucrative oilseed crops. 

 If you are a farmer looking to increase your income through sunflower cultivation, you must consider a few points before cultivating this oilseed crop.  

Important Tips for Farmers

1. Choose the right hybrid 

It is important to choose the correct hybrid that suits your location because the yield quality depends on this choice. And, ultimately, your income will depend on sunflower seeds and oil quantity and quality.  

A crop is a hybrid does not mean it will give maximum yield. Certain sunflower hybrids like PAC-36, PAC-1091, and PAC-8699 are high-yielding varieties. These hybrids are recognized by the government.  

2. Perform timely sowing

If you are choosing longer duration hybrid variety, you must sow earlier in the season, while short-duration ones can be sown later. So, it again comes down to the variety you choose.   

  • Usually, sunflower is sown in the 1stweek of July, if you are taking it as a Kharif crop. 

  • The second sowing season is the 1stfortnight of October for the Rabi crop.  

  • Then, you can sow towards the end of January or the beginning of February. This will be the short duration Zaid crop. 

 You must avoid growing sunflower crops continuously. Intercropping is good. Otherwise, you might deplete the soil and also increase the incidences of pests and diseases.  

3. Provide adequate fertilization 

If you wish to increase income through sunflower cultivation, you must increase the yield. For this, you must apply the recommended dose of fertilizers at the appropriate time. Potash, phosphorus, boron, and sulfur are the more important nutrients for the sunflower crop.  

  •  NPK/ha requirement for more variety is 40:40:0. For other varieties, it is 60:60:0. NPK helps to increase the weight of grains and the content of oil in seeds.  
  • Apply 60kg/ha phosphorus through SSP (Single Super Phosphate) during sowing. This increases yield of seed and oil. 

  • If your soil is deficit, apply 40kg/ha potash.

  • Apply N in two split doses – one during sowing and another 35 days after sowing. 

  • Apply 30kg N + 30kg/P205/ha during sowing. 

  • Perform 3 foliar sprays with 15 g Urea and 5 g DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) in 1 liter water. 1stspray 30 days after sowing. 2nd spray 40 days after sowing. 3rd spray 50 days after sowing. This increases yield amazingly. This also reduces cost that comes in top dressing of fertilizers.  

4. Be careful about irrigation 

Sunflower crop needs 9-10 irrigations at a gap of: 

  • 10-12 days in February

  • 8-10 days in March

  • 6-8 days in April 

  • 4-6 days in May 

 Irrigation quantity and frequency depends on soil type, variety, and climate conditions.  

5. Ensure good pests and diseases

It is but natural that you must save your crop from pests and diseases, if you wish higher income from higher yield. Good pest and disease management is one of the vital practices in sunflower crop, whether you grow it in Rabi, Kharif, or Zaid season 

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