Sunflower: A Versatile and Valuable Crop with Multiple Benefits 

Sunflower is an oilseed crop grown for various purposes worldwide, and it is a major source of vegetable oil in many countries due to its nutrient values.

Sunflower seeds contain about 46-52% edible oil, which is considered premium due to its high level of linoleic acid.

Every part of the sunflower plant has commercial value in the market, such as preparing edible oils, animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and some industrial products.

Sunflower oil is healthy and known for its light and odourless characters. It is rich in vitamin 'E' and is derived from sunflower seeds carrying nearly 45-50% oil content.

The sunflower plant is an annual, erect, broadleaf plant with a strong taproot and rough leaves on both surfaces. It can reach up to 4 to 6 feet tall, and the flower heads are up to 5 inches across and have yellow, pleated rays and a red-brown central disk.

A single head can produce 400-2000 seeds, which are pointed at the base and round at the end, with colours varying from black to white.

Sunflower crop has commercial and economic importance due to its short duration of maturity, high quality of oil, adaptability to different cropping patterns, high hull energy, drought tolerance, and photo-insensitive property.

Farmers can grow sunflower as the main crop or inter-crop with crops like peanut, Castor, Soybean, Green or Black gram and Pulses.

Sunflower seeds are may lower cholesterol.