Find the Best Time to Harvest

Harvesting time for your sunflowers

Harvesting your sunflowers at the optimal time is key to secure the best yields, good seed quality and highest oil quality. It’s important to monitor your fields and identity when the crop reaches 8 to 9% of moisture to optimize the harvest. 

Right Stage : 8 to 11% of moisture


  • The back of the head of sunflowers are changing color. They are becoming brown 
  • The leaves at the base and middle of the stem are dry 
  • There are a few leaves near the head still slightly green 
  • The stem is becoming brown 
  • Florets fall by themselves 

Too Early : Over 11% of moisture 


  • Leaves in the middle and the top of stems are green 
  • The back of head is still yellow 
  • Harvesting at this stage you will incur higher drying costs and more impurities 
  • Threshing speed will need to be reduced at this moisture 

Too Late : Below 8% of moisture


  • The capitulum is brownish black  
  • The stems are brown 
  • Leaves are totally dry  
  • Yield losses will be high due to lodging (loss of capitula) and seed loss will result from wind, birds and diseases (botrytis). 
  • Oil quality will be impacted – too aciditic 

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Discover a full range of sunflower portfolio, linoleic and high oleic, for all maturities, including herbicide and broomrape tolerance.

Contact us

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.