Growth Condition, Cultivation, Process, Technology, Benefits, Products,
Application, Market, Importers, Exporters
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- Safflower is a highly
branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp
spines on the leaves. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower
heads and commonly, brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers which bloom
- Safflower oil is
flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil.
- There are two types
of safflower that produce different kinds of oil: one high in
monounsaturated fatty acid and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty
- Safflower is a
thistle-like plant with seeds somewhat similar in appearance to small
white sunflower seeds.
- Safflower thrives in
heavy clays with good water-holding capacity, but will also grow
satisfactorily in deep sandy or clay loams with good drainage. It needs
soil moisture from the time of planting until it is flowering. It requires
a well-drained soil and a position in full sun.
- Safflower is
reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 20 to 137cm, an annual
average temperature range of 6.3 to 27.5deg.C and a pH in the range of 5.4
to 8.2. Plants are reported to tolerate bacteria, disease, drought, frost,
fungus, high pH, phage, salt, sand, rust, virus and wind.
- Safflower grows in the
temperate zone in areas where wheat and barley do well, and grows slowly
during periods of cool short days in early part of season.
- Safflower is a long-day
plant, requiring a photoperiod of about 14 hours.
- Safflower is unlikely
to be a worthwhile crop in Britain since it only ripens its seed here in
long hot summers. There is more chance of success in the drier eastern
part of the country with its usually warmer summers, the cooler moister
conditions in the west tend to act against the production of viable seed.
- Safflower is
primarily raised for the birdseed market, although the edible oil
crushing industry also provides a marketing opportunity. Most safflower
grown in South Dakota is marketed as bird seed. The market for safflower
oil include uses for human consumption and industrial uses. After
crushing the seed for oil, the remaining meal can be used as an animal
feed supplement, with a protein content of about 24%. The birdseed
market prefers white, blemish-free seed with a test weight of 38 pounds
per bushel or greater. Diseases such as Alternaria as well as
environmental conditions can cause the seed to be discolored and/or low
test weight. As a result, the seed may be unmarketable in the bird seed
- Safflower oil is also
used in painting in the place of linseed oil, particularly with white, as
it does not have the yellow tint
which linseed oil possesses.
- Safflower flowers are
occasionally used as a cheaper substitute for saffron.
- Safflower is used
mainly as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production
- Safflower was
grown for the dyes produced from its flowers
- Safflower is one of
humanity's oldest crops, but is a minor crop today, with about 600,000 t
being produced commercially in more than sixty countries worldwide.
- India, United
States, and Mexico are the leading producers, with Ethiopia, Kazakhstan,
China, Argentina and Australia accounting for most of the remainder.
- Safflower production
in South Dakota is concentrated in the west central, northwest and
southwest regions of the state, with minor production in the north
- Leading production
states, planted acres and production, in descending order of acres
planted, from 1997 Census of Agriculture.
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