Sunflower is one of the main crops consumed in Europe.
It is used not only for oil production, but also for animal nutrition and fuel production. Soybeans, flax and rapeseed, of course, have somewhat displaced this crop in the positions of leaders in consumption, however, despite this, sunflower remains in demand all over the world. Ukraine is traditionally famous for its high-quality sunflower, which is actively consumed both in the domestic and foreign markets.
The import of this crop from Ukraine covers 90% of the needs of Europe.
Europe’s place in the global sunflower market
There are not so many own sunflower areas in the EU, since many other popular crops are grown in Europe. In addition, for the effective growth of this crop, it is necessary to observe the correct crop rotation, use only high-quality seeds and have fertile soil, which not all farmers of the EU countries can afford. That is why only 10% of the sunflower is grown in Europe, which is consumed within the union, and the rest is preferable to import from other countries, in particular, the CIS. It is known that the main supplier of sunflower is Ukraine, which provides Europe with a sufficient amount of seeds annually. Local seeds are sent for local processing in European countries, where they receive high-quality oil, meal and cake. EU countries depend on the supply of this crop from Ukraine, however, local farmers also need to know the specifics of sunflower cultivation in order for the product to meet all the requirements adopted in Europe. In particular, farmers should not use certain hazardous pesticides and growth stimulants that contain substances that are harmful to the human body. Products must be certified before being imported into the EU, which must be confirmed by appropriate documents. Only with the necessary quality certificates will the seeds be able to enter the EU countries. You can get acquainted with the requirements for the import of products on the website of the Customs Union.
In order to grow quality products, you must adhere to several requirements:
- Select only high-quality seeds that have been treated against pests and diseases
- Observe crop rotation and carry out correct pre-sowing soil cultivation. By the way, the soil can be cultivated in three ways: plow or free-field plowing and no-till technology.
- Introduce potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus oxide, sulfur and magnesium oxide necessary for the plant.
- Make sure that no dangerous pests breed on the crop and no unfavorable diseases develop
- Strictly monitor soil acidity and watering frequency
- Harvest seeds in a timely manner before they are overripe
It is known that sunflower grows best on fertile soils, for example, chernozems, which are sufficient in Ukraine. In such a soil, seeds develop quickly, they do not need special care, and the cultivation of this crop is profitable. That is why Ukraine remains the main supplier of sunflower for other countries, and local farmers continue to rely on this crop when choosing seeds for growing.