31 May 2022

Sowing sunflowers days

Sunflower has always been a significant crop in the area of Cuenca, but this season, if possible, it will be even more important. The shortage of production mainly because of the situation in Ukraine (one of the main producers of sunflower in the world) has meant an increase in price and a high demand by companies and even governments, then many farmers decided to plant this crop, besides it is also a very good option for crop rotation. We hadn’t sown sunflowers in the last few years and this year we have also sown sunflowers again. 

We spent a nice morning with the brothers David and Oscar on their fields (Tribaldos - Cuenca) watching how they were preparing the soil and sowing sunflowers. As you can see in the video and our pictures, the first thing to do is to prepare the soil and then sow. Sunflower is a crop that needs a soil with deep vertical work, as it is a summer crop, so the roots will have to go deep enough to look for humidity. In the video they are using the cultivator to do the last superficial work to remove the weeds. After sowing, when the sunflower has emerged, weeds can be removed mechanically, furrowing the crop and also by phytosanitary treatment... this will be discussed in the future. 

As far as sowing tasks are concerned, David tells us that this year they are going to sow around 300 hectares of sunflower because it is a very attractive crop due to the price it is fetching at the moment. Last two years, it was around 250€/ha and now it is around 800€/ha (the production they usually have is 1.000kg/ha). The seed they use is of the Lidea brand and the Aromatic variety (we have sown Lidea Transol), which is a high oleic sunflower that can be treated with phytosanitary treatments to control weeds. The seed is in sacks of 150,000 seeds which is usually used for about 3.5 hectares. David tells us that he is planting about 40,000 plants per hectare and that he is planting at a distance of 90cm between rows (in our opinion this is too much). With his new Valtra T145 and the Kverneland OPTIMA NT seed drill he can sow around 4ha/hour at a working speed of 8.7km/h. 

Versión en español.