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Sunflower crop

Sunflowers are a short-season opportunity crop, grown for the sunflower oil or edible sunflower seed market. Sunflower can be a profitable crop with important rotational benefits when grown well.

Specific considerations for sunflowers

Sunflowers require a balanced supply of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, which can limit yield or reduce oil content, if in under or over supply. Phosphorus is frequently a limiting nutrient on sunflower crops.

The presence of a healthy rhizosphere, with an abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, is known to be beneficial to nutrient supply and building tolerance to abiotic stresses in sunflowers.

BioAg’s range of sustained-release phosphate fertilisers support your crop through the entire season. Applications of soil and foliar biostimulants improve cycling, uptake, and transport of nutrients, while feeding soil biology to aid water use efficiency and tolerance to abiotic stresses.

The BioAg approach

BioAg nutrition programs are incorporated into a growers current nutrition program. Our objective is to make fertiliser and other inputs work better and build and support healthy and balanced soils and plants. Programs are custom-made for each block, using advanced soil and tissue analysis. These integrated programs typically incorporate a range of BioAg solid and liquid nutrients, often associated with conventional inputs. BioAg fertility programs can be developed to meet organic certification requirements.

Soil test

An experienced and Fertcare accredited BioAg agronomist works with you and provides technical expertise on your crop. If you don’t already have recent soil test data, we arrange a soil test for you. The results provide essential information about the soil fertility and soil structure for better performance.

A tailored program

Based on the results of soil tests, crop requirements and other factors such as soil structure, climate, history of the block, and targets that you are trying to achieve, we provide a tailored program that aims to improve soil fertility and maximise yield response. We support you through the program to ensure that inputs are applied at the right time, in the right way.

Leaf and tissue testing

Any nutritional program cannot foresee the changes in weather, disease, or pests, that may impact a crop.  During the season, growers may observe issues or evidence of stress in their crop. This may be due to greater growth or yields than planned, a trace element shortage or abiotic stresses. An on-farm inspection and associated leaf or tissue tests will promptly identify any issues, which can quickly be addressed by applying the appropriate inputs.

High yielding crops require fertile balanced soils

Key to highly productive crops is the function of soils. Soil structure, chemistry and biology are critical in supporting crops throughout the growing season. By improving all aspects of the soil, crops will benefit from improved access to moisture, due to improved infiltration and water holding capacity, improved access to nutrition through improved nutrient cycling, fixation (for N) and a reduction in loss pathways, improved resilience to abiotic stresses and disease, improved root growth providing access to additional moisture and nutrients as well as improved carbon sequestration and a range of other benefits (link to resources - soil health).

Beneficial microorganisms stimulate the plant’s root growth and help protect it from abiotic stresses. This is made possible through mutually beneficial relationships that microbes develop with plants, for example mycorrhizal associations.   BioAg products programs supply essential macronutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca), trace elements (B, Zn, Cu etc.),  microbial food and metabolites beneficial microorganisms that colonise root systems, improving soil function, plant health and productivity.

Sunflowers on white background

Sunflowers – key features of a BioAg program

The following table illustrates the cropping process and potential solutions depending on soil test results and other contributing factors. Call your BioAg Area Manager to discuss your individual needs.

Planning
Objective
Assess the need for fertilisers and ameliorates.
Activity
Perform a soil test.
BioAg Product
-
Prior to sowing
Objective
Build soil nutrition and structure.
Activity
Apply fertilisers and ameliorates.
BioAg Product
BioAgPhos: 200 – 300kg/ha
Prior to sowing
Objective
Build soil nutrition and structure.
Activity
Apply fertilisers and ameliorates.
BioAg Product
BioAgSoP: 50 – 75kg/ha
Prior to sowing
Objective
Build soil nutrition and structure.
Activity
Apply fertilisers and ameliorates.
BioAg Product
Lime or gypsum: per soil test.
Prior to sowing
Objective
Build soil nutrition and structure.
Activity
Apply fertilisers and ameliorates.
BioAg Product
BioAg SOA: 200 – 250kg/ha
Planting
Objective
Improve soil microbial activity, germination, and early vigour.
Activity
Apply a soil biostimulant with starter fertiliser.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 5 – 6L/ha
Planting
Objective
Improve soil microbial activity, germination, and early vigour.
Activity
Apply a soil biostimulant with starter fertiliser.
BioAg Product
Starter fertiliser: 30 – 50kg/ha
At 150mm – 200mm growth
Objective
Supply additional nitrogen, enhance uptake of soil biology and nutrient uptake, stimulate vegetative growth.
Activity
Apply nitrogen fertiliser with a soil and foliar biostimulant.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 3 – 5L/ha (soil applied or water run on).
At 150mm – 200mm growth
Objective
Supply additional nitrogen, enhance uptake of soil biology and nutrient uptake, stimulate vegetative growth.
Activity
Apply nitrogen fertiliser with a soil and foliar biostimulant.
BioAg Product
Nitrogen fertiliser: 60 – 90kg/ha
At 150mm – 200mm growth
Objective
Supply additional nitrogen, enhance uptake of soil biology and nutrient uptake, stimulate vegetative growth.
Activity
Apply nitrogen fertiliser with a soil and foliar biostimulant.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow: 3 – 5L/ha (foliar application).
At 400mm – 500mm growth
Objective
Supply final nitrogen and support flowering and fruit set.
Activity
Apply nitrogen fertiliser with a foliar biostimulant.
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance: 3 – 5L/ha (foliar application).
At 400mm – 500mm growth
Objective
Supply final nitrogen and support flowering and fruit set.
Activity
Apply nitrogen fertiliser with a foliar biostimulant.
BioAg Product
Nitrogen fertiliser: 60 – 90kg/ha

Sunflower resources

  • Regenerative agriculture

    The term regenerative agriculture has become aligned, or associated hand in hand, with the improvement of soils, improved soil fertility, and the benefits this provides to farms and rural communities. The approach typically promoted is a holistic one, taking into accoun...

    Read more

Recommended products

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

BioAgPhos

Solid Fertiliser

Highly reactive phosphate fertiliser made from high-grade reactive phosphate rock combined with BioAg’s microbial digesting agent.

BioAg Biostimulant product Soil & Seed

Soil & Seed

Biostimulant

Formulated to improve soil microbial activity, natural soil fertility and moisture and nutrient utilisation.

BioAg Biostimulant product Balance & Grow

Balance & Grow

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Formulated to increase vegetative growth, root development and soil microbial activity. Ideal for broadacre, pastures and horticulture.

BioAg Biostimulant product Fruit & Balance

Fruit & Balance

Biostimulant

Formulated to increase flowering, fruit set and soil microbial activity. Fruit & Balance enhances the nutritional value and quality of fruit or grain by increasing plant sugar levels.

BioAg product shot of BioAg SoP

BioAgSoP

Solid Fertiliser

Organically certified granular form of fertiliser containing potassium and sulphur. Immediately available to crops and plants. Ideal for crops with a high potassium demand and sensitive to chloride.

BioAg product shot of BioAg SOA

BioAg SOA

Solid Fertiliser

Provides nitrogen as ammonia and sulphur in a sulphate form. Ideal as a source of pre-planting nitrogen and sulphur in annual cropping programs and as a source of sulphur and nitrogen in intensive pastures.

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

Committed to organics

With a core range of natural fertilisers and biostimulants, BioAg can offer an extensive range of products certified by Australian Organics, suitable for use in organic systems.