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Bagging sunflowers


 
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IH26
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am raising 10 acres of sunflowers next year. I talked to my local grocery store, and they are big on locally grown. I couldn"t believe it, but in there 100 stores they sell 180,000lbs of sunflowers each winter. They will buy all my sunflowers for bird seed, but one big problem. they want them in 5 lb plastic bags you see in alot of stores. Thats a big problem 20,000 lbs of sunflower seeds in 5 lb bags is 4000 bags!! I don"t have the money to buy a $20,000 to $50,000 auto packer any ideas on how do get the flowers packaged? If I start out small I could end up supplying them with the total 180,000lb needs so then a expensive auto packer could be justified. Any idea"s?
 
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Ted in NE-OH
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Is there a mentally or physically challenged group that would do the work for you. Sometimes they are begging for work.
 
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bo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

So buy a heat sealer and hire a couple of kids at $8/hr to fill and seal. If they do 100bags/hr and that might be on the short side, in a week they ought to be done and you'll pay out $640 in labor costs. What's the problem?
 
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retired farmer
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Problem is finding any kids to work for eight dollars an hour doing a mundane job.
 
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jm.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What are you using for a crop saved figure on the 10 acres.. How many pounds do you expect to get in the combine bin from each acre ? Have been growing sf in this area for years but when I went to Califorina I found yields vary from farm to farm.
 
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skip33652
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

also I don't know how many acres you have but you must not plant flowers on the same ground must have at least 4 year interval and they dont really like wet .Paul
 
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rusted nuts
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Amish kids for less than 8.00 too.
 
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gtractorfan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Or bag and seal yourself on snowy winter days, bet you could do more than 100 an hour.
 
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jm.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Skip are you basing that on experience or what. We have no problem on a two year rotation have raised them year after year with out yield reduction but did have pest problems. Just wondering what you base those thoughts on. Might also depend on the part of country..
 
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moresmoke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Piece rate is much more motivational than hourly pay.
 
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GaryinKs
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Take a look on ebay, there are alot of industrial items on there kind of cheap.
 
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IH26
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Jim I was figuring 1500 to 2000 lbs an acre where I live in Eastern TN we are near the mountains so we usually get alot of rain, but next year will be my first year growing them to combine. How much poundage should I expect? I usually bush hog them to dove hunt. I am actually going to grow a couple acres more to make sure I have enough to fill the order. I am using hydrid sunflower seeds from seeds 2000. blazer to be exact. They are clearfield and will be growing them on 34" rows. With a seed rate of around 24,000 per acre. Skip why can't you grow them year after year like corn? I will probly just by a sealer and seal bags on my own just seeing if anyone had a better idea. Also what moisture should I be at on the flowers before I bag them in a sealed plastic bag?
 
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skip33652
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sunflower are native to the area and disease weed pressure takes off in short period of time. It is real hard to keep field relativly free of wild sunflower and kocia when they grow wild in the ditch. Disease will really knock yields if soil pathogens are not reduced. The experts would realy like us to move to five year break. Unlike a soybean which is not native to US. you can plant beans on beans on beans here if you choose.
If you live in russia sunflowers on sunflowers may be good idea.I believe That Groton (If not Groton somewhere real close)south dakota has a sign outside of town," welcome to the sunflower capitol of the world" you won't find a sunflower for over a 100 miles) for reasons I previosly explained.
All of us in our area of western South Dakota raise them because they seem to continue to make some money and fit real well in our rotation. but all agree they are pretty miserable to raise. Weed control , pest control, obtaining sufficient and uniform stands, and combining can be real hassles.anyone that thinks combine fires are not a real threat have not cut sunflowers . My combine smoldered for 10 days one year while we cut them.
yes I have some experience Paul
 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Here in the Eastern US I can plant Sunflowers anywhere and have yet to see them ever develop any type of disease about the most trouble free plant around.Of course there are no wild Sunflowers growing here either.I usually plant an acre or two to feed the chickens and hogs,just cut off the heads and let them have at it.Also make a great addition to deer plots.
 
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jm.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Bagging sunflowers Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am west of you about 200 mi or so, or 90 miles west of Nashville. I have never weighed out an acre but guessing by combine bins or total yield, I would think 1500+ lb per acre is doable. We put down 15,15,15 fertilize at about 300 lb per acre.
Lot depends on the water. One of the other mentioned trouble getting stands , I never have that problem. We use ac planter set up on 15 in rows. We also use Clearfield seed.
 
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