Farm surveys are now conducted by drone


Chris, preparing the soil for planting


Tugs, a young Scottish Highland bull


Pigs enjoying the summer afternoon


Alana is head of our bio-fuels program and has transformed our farm to use only self-produced fuels.

Our 100% renewable wind energy powers our farm, and the surrounding region


Green Energy - Wind and Sunflower Oil


Our sheep get all the outdoors fresh air they desire


Todd maintains all our equipment and keeps us running


Summer evening, 2018, and our first full crop of sunflowers


Our GPS-guided, computer-controlled Massey-Ferguson 7180 ready for bailing


Testing GPS guidance systems


Harvest time, late summer 2016


Planting sunflower, Spring 2018

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Angus Sunflowers

In 2018 our Angus Scotland farm converted our 35 hectare north field to Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower. The seeds from this crop was successfully processed into over 25,000 liters of biodiesel fuel, and the remaining cake was used for livestock feed for our pigs and sheep. The green matter from the plants, the stocks and leaves, was ensilaged to produce livestock feed as well. For more information about sunflowers, continue reading.

The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a large annual forb of the genus Helianthus grown as a crop for its edible oil and edible fruits. This sunflower species is also used as wild bird food, as livestock forage (as a meal or a silage plant), in some industrial applications, and as an ornamental in domestic gardens. The plant was first domesticated in the Americas. Wild Helianthus annuus is a widely branched annual plant with many flower heads. The domestic sunflower, however, often possesses only a single large flower head (inflorescence) atop an unbranched stem. The name sunflower derives from the flower's head's shape, which resembles the sun.

Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient.

The plant has an erect rough-hairy stem, reaching typical heights of 3 metres (9.8 ft). The tallest sunflower on record achieved 9.17 metres (30.1 ft). Sunflower leaves are broad, coarsely toothed, rough and mostly alternate. What is often called the "flower" of the sunflower is actually a "flower head" or pseudanthium of numerous small individual five-petaled flowers ("florets"). The outer flowers, which resemble petals, are called ray flowers. Each "petal" consists of a ligule composed of fused petals of an asymmetrical ray flower. They are sexually sterile and may be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The flowers in the center of the head are called disk flowers. These mature into fruit (sunflower "seeds").

To grow best, sunflowers need full sun. They grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil with heavy mulch. In commercial planting, seeds are planted 45 cm (1.48 ft) apart and 2.5 cm (0.98 in) deep. Sunflower "whole seed" (fruit) are sold as a snack food, raw or after roasting in ovens, with or without salt and/or seasonings added. Sunflowers can be processed into a peanut butter alternative, sunflower butter. It is also sold as food for birds and can be used directly in cooking and salads.

Sunflower oil, extracted from the seeds, is used for cooking, as a carrier oil and to produce margarine and biodiesel, as it is cheaper than olive oil. A range of sunflower varieties exist with differing fatty acid compositions; some 'high oleic' types contain a higher level of monounsaturated fats in their oil than even olive oil.

The cake remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as a livestock feed. The hulls resulting from the dehulling of the seeds before oil extraction can also be fed to domestic animals. Sunflowers also produce latex, and are the subject of experiments to improve their suitability as an alternative crop for producing hypoallergenic rubber.

About Us

Carrer de la Devesa, 19, Gandia, Spain

Tel: +34 615 339321


Solymar Agricultural Group is a wholly owned subsidary of Solymar Group Limited with agricultural holdings in Spain, Scotland, and Canada.