Sunflower Overview

There are two types of sunflower varieties that include oil-based and confection. Oilseed sunflowers are used in birdfeed and to make sunflower oil. The confection variety is used as a roasted snack with the shells left on or the shell can be removed and the seed inside is used for baking.

There is a small amount of sunflowers grown in Saskatchewan.

There are a small amount of sunflowers grown in Saskatchewan, but mainly in the southeast part of the province. The majority of the sunflowers grown in Canada are in Manitoba. Most of the sunflowers grown in Canada stay in North America, but some other regions we send sunflowers to are Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Canola, flax, mustard, camelina, and sunflowers are all oilseed crops that grow in Saskatchewan.

History of Sunflowers

Sunflowers were first grown as a crop by Indigenous tribes in North America over 4,500 years ago. Over the years, many uses for sunflowers were discovered. These include milling them for flour, roasting seeds for snacks or eaten with other nuts in a granola, using sunflower oil for cooking, or as sunscreen, and using the plant’s stems in construction.

Sunflowers were first grown as a crop by Indigenous tribes in North America over 4,500 years ago.

Growing Sunflowers

The sunflowers that are grown in Saskatchewan are grown in the southeast part of the province.

Some sunflowers can grow up to 5 feet tall.

Sunflowers are planted in the spring, and over the summer can grow up to 5 feet tall, although some types are shorter. Sunflowers grow best in well-drained soil.

Here’s a close-up of a sunflower plant.

Birds are an issue for farmers because they like to eat the seeds and damage the plant. Blackbirds are the main type of birds that eat the sunflowers. The seeds are very nutritious and are easy for the birds to eat. One way to protect the plant from birds is to spray the crop to dry it out so it can be harvested sooner.

Birds are an issue for farmers because they like to eat the seeds and damage the plant. The seeds are very nutritious and are easy for the birds to eat.

The flowers become ready to harvest slowly and not all at the same time. Sometimes farmers spray the crop with a desiccant to stop it from growing and then the flowers dry out at the same time.

 

After harvest, oilseed sunflower seeds are taken to a factory to be made into oil.

Sunflower Nutrition

Sunflower seeds have vitamins, minerals, and good fats that make them healthy for us to eat.

Sunflower seeds are healthy for our bodies.

Sunflower Products

Sunflowers are used to make a variety of products.