Lots of sunny days in July and August do not a sunflower with plentiful seed necessarily make, as everyone at Vine House Farm Wild Bird Food understands only too well.
There may be 120 acres of beautiful Bizarre sunflowers in full flower at the Deeping St Nicholas farm, but there’s still a way to go until harvest.
“Harvesting sunflowers isn’t as easy as harvesting wheat, and that’s why we don’t take anything for granted,” said Lucy Watts, of Vine House Wild Bird Food.
The seed is not harvested until October, and needs lots more sunshine to produce a bumper yield – Lucy says they would expect to get a tonne to the acre.
However, she warns: “The important time for the sunflowers is now while they are in flower, so the better the weather now the better the chances of us having a bumper crop. The forecast is, hopefully, that will be the case, but it’s not a given.”
Just like other crops, the cold weather in May and June gave the crop a slow start, although Lucy says it’s about caught up now.
However, the future yield isn’t the concern of national newspapers and television channels that have been visiting the farm in recent days to capture images of those large sunflower heads, bred to produce lots of seed.
They simply wanted to cheer their readers and viewers with the wonderful sight of those glorious acres of bright yellow flowers.