Optimise Your Crop Yields

The 5 key growth stages of sunflowers for optimimal crop yields.

Knowing the growth stages of sunflower is crucial for farmers seeking to enhance crop yield and sustainability. Sunflower crop requires careful management from germination to maturity. Familiarity with these growth phases empowers farmers to make informed decisions on irrigation and fertilisation timing for optimising resource use and minimising environmental impact. In essence, understanding the growth stages of sunflower is a practical tool for farmers, for maximising productivity, ensuring yield security, and adapting to changing climatic conditions.

The 5 key stages of sunflower

More about sunflower

1. Germination and Emergence 

  • Sunflowers require a soil temperature of 8°C for germination    
  • Seeds need sufficiently fine and moist soil around the seed  
  • Sowing depth of 2 to 3cm

2. Vegetative Phase  

  • Development of the aerial part of the taproot    
  • At the 8-leaf stage there is the initiation of the floral primordia    
  • Plants have a need for large amount of nutrients

3. Flower Bud

  • The number of ovules is final at the 1 cm bud stage    
  • The leaf area and the root system are almost at the maximum size 
  • This is a phase of high growth – plant will be sensitive to lack of water or nitrogen    
  • Caution, excess nitrogen will increase the leaf area. This will increase the water consumption and potentially the risk disease development.

4. Flowering

  • Each plant will flower for 8 to 10 days    
  • During flowering plants are sensitive to contamination by Sclerotinia capitulum    
  • At this stage plants are sensitive to water stress – can impact cause yield losses of 30 to 35%

5. Maturing 

  • Seed filling phase 
  • Active synthesis of the fatty acids    
  • Physiological maturity is reached when the seeds reach 28% moisture

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Our local teams visit farms and distributors on-site to give you the best advice for your location. Find your local MAS Seeds® consultant by visiting a country website or fill out our contact form here.