Integrating Canola and Sunflower with Organic Grain Production and Southeastern United States

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2010: $245,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: canola, corn, soybeans, sunflower, wheat


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health


    This research was designed to evaluate tillage, conventional tillage and no-till, and crop management on organic grain production in a rotation of wheat-soybean and rye/crimson clover-sunflower. Despite numerous difficulties, including inability to control weeds in no-till crops, planting sunflower in heavy residues of cover crop, and inability to control major insect pests, we were able to produce crops. However, yields for sunflower and wheat under both tillage regimes were lower than expected for the cultivars used in the study. Yields for both conventional-till and no-till soybean, though, were within the range reported for the cultivar grown in conventional production systems.

    Project objectives:


    1. Develop systems of organic grain production that integrate sunflower into traditional grain rotations using either conservation or conventional tillage
    2. Determine effects of different tillage systems for organic grain production on soil quality and soil physical properties.
    3. Transfer organic grain production technology to producers, technical service providers, and students.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.