Sunflower nutrition

Published: 1 Mar 2016

GRDC Magazine cover

Key points

  • Sunflower are moderately tolerant to a range of soil constraints and prefer a friable soil surface for best crop establishment.
  • Use soil tests to target nutrient management for both optimal oil and maximum grain yields.
  • Nitrogen (N) is the nutrient taken up in the greatest quantities by sunflower and is essential for many plant processes.
  • Excessive levels of N can reduce oil content while insufficient N will limit crop yields.
  • Phosphorus (P) is the second most frequently limiting nutrient for sunflower crops.
  • If arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi levels are low, supplying adequate P and zinc is very important.
  • Germinating sunflower seed is very sensitive to fertiliser placed in the seed trench; growers should aim to limit the amount of fertiliser placed in close contact with the seed and use side banding to limit contact.

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GRDC Project Code PAL 00019

Region North, South

Region: North; South