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How to Start a Profitable Sunflower Farming Business in 10 Steps

Do you want to start a sunflower farming business? If so, find here a detailed business plan guide on starting sunflower production with process and management.

In starting a sunflower farming business, the primary requirement is vacant land. The sunflower is often called a commercial cash crop. Growing sunflower for oilseed with maintaining the right process is a viable business opportunity. An entrepreneur passionate about agriculture and having their own land can start a sunflower farming business.

Why Sunflower Farming?

  • Sunflower is a highly profitable crop in oilseed production
  • Sunflower takes a very short duration 80-115 days to grow
  • It’s also suitable to grow in rainfed conditions
  • Sunflower has the ability to perform in diverse agro-climatic and soil conditions
  • The incidence of pests and diseases on sunflower crops is also easily manageable with timely preventive and curative measures

Is Sunflower Farming Business Profitable?

Being a commercial cash crop, sunflower offers an attractive price for the produce Sunflower oil is considered a premium when compared to other vegetable oils. The economics of the sunflower is highly profitable compared to other crops in a similar maturity group. Hence we can easily conclude sunflower farming is a profitable business. It is without saying, the amount of profit will depend on the area of cultivation.

Here are the 10 Steps to Start Sunflower Farming Business

1. Do a Study about Sunflower Farming

Before venturing into the sunflower farming business you must have adequate knowledge about the crop and farming process. You can gather knowledge from an experienced sunflower farmer or you can attend a workshop at Agriculture University.  You may also contact your district agriculture officer to get information about seeds, technology, etc.

It is advised to do market research and collect information regarding the feasibility of starting a sunflower farm in your locality.

2. Sunflower Farming Business Plan

First, fix the land area where you will grow a sunflower. Calculate the expenses of seed, fertilizer, nutrients, pesticides, and labor costs.

Also calculate post-harvesting costs like storage, bagging, etc. Fix your sunflower farming budget. Contact the potential buyer of sunflower seeds in your locality. Determine the best one with whom you will supply the sunflower seed.

3. Ideal Soil for Sunflower Farming

Soil characteristics are particularly important for sunflower production and seed yields. Sunflowers are best adapted to moderate- to well-drained soil types, such as loams and “sandy” soils.

Furthermore, sunflowers can be grown on other soil types, their growth rates and seed yields on less suitable soils are often less than when grown on ideal soils.

Also, sunflowers do not tolerate prolonged wet conditions and should not be planted in low-lying flood-prone sites.

Read: How To Take Soil Samples For Analysis?

4. Fix the Seed variety you want to grow

The most important factor in sunflower production is the selection of the right sunflower hybrid seed because the final income is dependent on both grain and oil yields. You will need to choose a hybrid variety of seeds that will give a high yield.

So many brands are available in the market for oilseed production. You will need to select one which is a high-yielding hybrid with a high oil percentage and has a tolerance to biotic & abiotic stresses.

5. Procure supplies

Other than seed you will need to concentrate on fertilizer and nutrients – micro and secondary. Soil tests make it possible to classify the soil’s ability to supply nutrients as very low (VL), low (L), medium (M), high (H), or very high (VH). Fertilizer recommendations are based on the level of available nutrients and a realistic yield goal.

Better yields in sunflower farming can only be realized by applying the recommended dosage of fertilizers. The application of phosphorus, potash, and micronutrients like sulfur and boron is important in sunflower farming.

6. Cost of Starting Sunflower Farming Business

The cost and investment of farming sunflowers will depend on the area of cultivation, cost of land, seeds, cost of labor, and fertilizer expenses.

However, approximately if you are from the United States, the seed cost per acre of sunflower cultivation will be around $15 to $20. You need to add weed control expenses as with other cultivation like soybeans farming.

In India, where sunflower is grown in many regions, the cost of sunflower farming per acre is roughly Rs. 12,000.

7. Pest and Disease Management in Sunflower Farming

Recommended preventive measures provide protection against some of the common pests and diseases in sunflower farming. Preventive sprays of pesticides before the first 50 days prevent attack by Heliothis and infestation of Alternaria.

You can also prevent some viral diseases by sowing the crop after July and by controlling sucking pests with a timely spray of systematic insecticide in the first 40 days.

It is also important to follow the recommendation of local agricultural universities regarding pest and disease management in sunflower farming.

8. Harvesting in Sunflower Farming

Timely harvesting is important to avoid having a loss to late seasonal diseases. Harvesting sunflowers may sometimes be viewed as a delicate balancing act.

Harvest too early and you’ll end up with an immature, high-moisture crop, predisposed to diminished yield, lower quality, and the likelihood of additional grain drying expenses.

Harvest too late, and you’ll expose the crop to weathering that degrades seed quality and lowers the economic value, as well as seed yield losses from lodging, shattering, and pests.

9. How Many Yields Can You Expect from Sunflower Farming

The yield varies from region to region. However, on average one can expect a grain yield of 300-500 kg per acre of land under normal rainfall It increases to 1000-1500 kg per acre if cultivated in controlled irrigation.

10. Post-Harvesting Storage and Selling

Consider cleaning sunflower before putting it in storage to maintain quality. Dry sunflower seeds before storage if it is harvested wetter than 10%. Monitor the moisture and temperature of the seed in storage. Supply the seeds in fresh condition to the buyer. Sunflower seed also has an export opportunity.