Estimating Sunflower Yield

The article “ Estimating Sunflower Yield ” was published in the Crop & Pest Report on September 23, 2021.

The yield for oil sunflower can be calculated by the number of plants per acre, the head diameter, the seed size, the number of filled seeds per head, observing how much of the center of the head is filled, and estimating the damage done by birds. The yield is calculated by adding 2,450 to the tables in the article.

First, estimate the plant population from a number of locations away from the headlands.

Table 1. Based on the plant population per acre, the Multiplier will be used.

Plants are per acre.

There is a Multiplier.

The value of the multiplier can be calculated for plant populations between the numbers. The diameter of the sunflowers is the next measurement. Take the average of the heads in the field. Plants with more space tend to have larger heads.

Measure a representative sample of heads. Measure each head from edge to edge.png

The second table is Table 2. The average head diameter is used in formula.

The head is inches.

There is a Multiplier.

The head is inches.

There is a Multiplier.

The seed size is related to the next multiplier. Cut a small wedge out of a few heads and put it in a container. Determine the seed size for the multiplier by taking a representative sample from a bucket.

A chary of sunflower seed sizes for comparison ranging from light to heavy.

Figure 1. There is a chart with multipliers.

Table 3. The size of the seed and the number of animals that can be used.



Medium light.

Medium is what it is.

Medium heavy.


There is a Multiplier.

The seed width is in millimetres.

The seed length is in millimetres.

To determine percent filled seeds, take 100 seeds from the sample and put them in a container. When observing 100 seeds of which 9 are either not filled or severely damaged due to insects, the multiplier will be zero. 91 is the percentage of filled seeds.

The center seed set is measured. If there is no seed in the center of the head, divide it by 0. If no seeds are set in the center of the head, divide it by 0. There is a hole in the center of the head. Take the average seed set from plants.

If there is bird damage to the heads. There is no damage to 98 % of the head if there is 2 % damage.

calculation of yield

The yield is calculated by adding 2,450 to the tables. In a field with 20,000 plants per acre, the average head size is 6. 5 inches, a medium seed size with good seed count of 95 %, and average no seed in the center of the head of one inch, and 2 % bird damage.

Counting plants per acre and taking sunflower head observations during the annual national sunflower survey.png

2,450 x plant population, head size, seed size, good seed count, center seed set, and no bird damage equals lbs/acre.

2,450 x 1 is the yield calculation for this example field. 975 x 0 98 is 1623 lbs/acre. This example has a yield estimate of 1623 lbs per acre. If not all heads can be Harvested, the yield may be lower.

This is a reference.

How to Estimate Yield is an article by the National Sunflower Association.

Hans Kandel is an extension arnomyist.

Ryan is an Extension Cropping Systems Specialist at the Dickinson Research Extension Center.

Category: Flower

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