Everyone has seen a sunflower, or at least a picture of one, but did you know that whole fields of them can be grown? They are actually quite hardy and frost resistant.
During the bud season, the head of the sunflower faces east as the sun rises and follows it as it moves west throughout the day. After this stage, however, the sunflowers no longer track the sun as it moves across the sky.
Sunflowers require a four-month growing season, like safflower, and need lots of water. They are usually planted in rows and irrigated. When they bloom, the sunflowers need to be protected from birds as they can destroy the crop by helping themselves to the seeds.
Sunflower crops are processed mostly for oil. Sunflower oil is used for cooking and industrial use. Also, we have sunflower seeds, sold both shelled and unshelled as sunflower nuts. What remains after the seeds have been processed for oil is often used as livestock feed.