Sunflower seed

Sunflower is one of the most important oil plants grown on Earth. Oil extracted from sunflower seeds accounts for 13% of world oil production. The extraction is done by pressing, the normal extraction yield is around 45%. Sunflower cakes have a high protein content (45-55%), representing a valuable feed. Calatidia (inflorescence residues) can be used in animal feed. The stem is rich in potassium, being used to produce potassium carbonate.

Sunflower seed

Maturity can be considered reached when 80-85% of the calatids are brown. The harvesting period in Romania is between August 20 and September 15. Harvesting is done mechanically, when the humidity of the achenes is 15% and it is indicated to complete when they have a humidity of 9- 10%. Harvesting too early leads to drying costs and crop depreciation. Also, harvesting too late can lead to losses (even 1t / ha).

Harvesting the sunflower crop

The sunflower crop can be capitalized on in many ways and forms. Two of the most important are: in animal feed (srot) and for oil.


The largest market segment for sunflower is oil extraction by crushing the seeds.

The oil is then used in the food industry, either as an ingredient for the manufacture of semi-finished or finished food products, or is bottled as a final product.

Sunflower oil can be further segmented into base oils, which are sold at high volumes and low prices, and specialty oils, sold at low volumes and high prices, such as premium and certified products such as organic trade and fair.

Sunflower Meal

The grated residue after oil extraction is a rich source of protein and is an excellent feed for animals, especially ruminants.

Compared to soy, sunflower meal contains the amino acid lysine and lower energy, but has a higher fiber and methionine content.

Separate seed husks have a high fiber content and a low protein content and therefore have a low commercial feed value, so they are often burned as a heat source for the crushing plant.

For every 100 kilograms of crushed sunflower seeds, the processor obtains about 40 kilograms of oil, 35 kilograms of protein-rich meal and 25 kilograms of by-products.