AN EXPERIMENT with sunflowers in the Riverina at Marrar has worked well for the Pattison family.
Brendan Pattison said he had just finished harvesting the first lot of sunflowers produced by the family.
Yielding around a tonne to the hectare, Mr Pattison said he was pleased with the results, given the amount of learning still to be done surrounding the crop.
“We don’t do much summer cropping in this area, last year was very wet during the winter cropping season so we decided to have a dabble at it.”
“It went alright and we have learnt a lot about how to grow them next time.”
He said he would consider growing sunflowers again on an opportunity basis.
“We went fairly easy on the inputs this year given we did not know whether we could grow them or not, and we could tinker with that if grew them again.”
“It is something you need a good bank of moisture underneath, but if the conditions are right we’ll have another go at them.”
He said he had grown the Sunbird 7 variety, a grey stripe type of sunflower used for bird seed, which sell at around $850 a tonne.
“It was not difficult to find a home for them.”
The crop was planted in September and harvested last week with the harvester fitted with a draper front and sunflower screens.
“It harvested fairly well, it pushed straight through the header no problems,” Mr Pattison said.