Mar 28, 2024

Sunflower Planting in Goias Must be Completed by March 31st

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The state of Goias in west-central Brazil is the largest sunflower producing state in Brazil and farmers in the state have until March 31st to complete their sunflower planting.

Sunflowers in Goias are normally planted after soybean are harvested and that complicates the control live soybean plants during the annual "soybean free" period during which no live soybean plants are permitted in fields, roadways, or around storage or transportation facilities. Any live soybean plant during that time must be eliminated to help control the spread of soybean rust from one growing season to the next.

It is easy to eliminate live soybean plants along the edges of fields or roadways, but it is nearly impossible to eliminate soybeans that may have germinated within a sunflower field since there are no herbicides registered to eliminate the soybeans.

This dilemma has been resolved by requiring that the sunflowers be planted early enough that they will be harvested by July 15th, which would then allow enough time to eliminate any volunteer soybean plants. If the sunflowers are going to be planted after March 14th, they are required to be short cycle varieties with no more than 105-day maturity.

Safrinha sunflower production is an alternative to safrinha corn production especially when the corn might be planted after the ideal planting window has closed. Sunflowers are early maturing and more resistant to potentially dry conditions.

Farmers in Goias must register their sunflower planting with the State Department of Agriculture no more than 15 days after planting is complete. Conab estimates that Goias will produce 47,300 tons of sunflowers in 2023/24 which is up 0.9% from last year.