- Soil Preparation: Soil preparation is crucial for a good harvest. In dryland farming, it’s important to have soil that can hold moisture for an extended period. One way to do this is by using organic matter, such as compost, to improve the soil structure and increase water-holding capacity. Deep tillage and subsoiling can also help to break up compacted soils and allow for better water infiltration.
- Planting Density: Planting density is an important factor in sunflower yield. It’s recommended to plant sunflowers at a density of 20,000 to 25,000 plants per acre in dryland farming. This will ensure that the plants have enough space to grow and access the available water and nutrients in the soil.
- Timing of Planting: Sunflowers should be planted after the last frost and when soil temperatures reach at least 50°F. Planting too early can result in poor germination, while planting too late can reduce yield potential.
- Fertilization: Adequate fertilization is essential for high sunflower yields. Soil testing can help to determine the right type and amount of fertilizer to use. Nitrogen is particularly important for sunflower growth and should be applied in split applications to avoid leaching.
- Weed Control: Weeds can compete with sunflowers for water and nutrients, reducing yield potential. It’s important to use effective weed control measures, such as herbicides, cultivation, and crop rotation, to keep weed pressure under control.
- Irrigation: Irrigation can significantly increase yields in dryland farming. It’s important to use irrigation methods that are efficient and conserve water, such as drip irrigation or furrow irrigation.
By implementing these strategies, you can improve the yield potential of sunflowers in dryland commercial farm fields. For more information, contact your AgVenture Yield Specialist or find AgVenture brand sunflowers near you by locating your locally owned and operated independent seed company.