Sunflowers a shrewd spring option growers advised

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With a potential gross margin of £600/ha and the decline in the cropped area due to the weather, Grainseed is urging growers to consider sunflowers this season.

Edward Stanford, sunflower expert for the firm, said: “Sunflowers are a straight-forward crop to grow with few inputs (variable cost is just £276/hectare) and being drilled from 10th April onwards allows growers a little more time to consider their options. We also know that with climate change and increasing temperatures, the suitable geographic area has already expanded well northwards.”

The variety Es Bella, sold by United Oilseeds, is the best-selling variety of sunflowers in the UK and Mr Stanford believes that the market for the crop will flourish in the next five years. “Some actions under the Sustainable Farming Incentive could add value to the crop, including IPM4 – no insecticide on the crop – which pays £45 per hectare.”

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