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Planting & Managing
Your Armor® Dove Pro Sunflower Crop

These general planting and management recommendations provide a glimpse into the steps you’ll need to take when creating a sunflower food plot for doves. Every field is different, however, so we recommend consulting your local Armor® Seed agronomist for assistance in developing a customized plan for your acres.

  • Seed coverage: Depending on planting technique, 10 lbs. of Armor Dove Pro 21 CL or Dove Pro 55 CL seed will cover approximately 3 acres.
  • Weed Control Trait: Armor Dove Pro seed products utilize the Clearfield® Production System trait, which is produced with conventional breeding for use with Beyond® herbicide to control post-emergent weeds. This is a great option for no-till or minimum-till sunflower areas, or fields containing weeds that are hard to control with other herbicides.
  • Seed Treatment Technology: Armor Dove Pro sunflower seed can be ordered with seed treatment products like CruiserMaxx® Sunflowers, Dynasty® or Lumisena fungicide seed treatments. These products can help protect against early season insect pressure and/or diseases like downy mildew to help optimize sunflower yields.
  • Soil:
    • PH Range: 6.0-7.5
    • Soil Type: Tolerant to acidity, well drained, clay loam or silty clay loam, and sandy loam soils.
  • Planting Dates: For best results, soil temperature must be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at 2” depth. Typical regional planting windows are:
    • North: Mid May – June
    • Central: Mid April – May
    • South: April – Early May
  • Regional Planting Map
  • Tillage Requirements / Ground Preparation:
    • Row Planter
    • Seeder
    • Spreader / Broadcaster
    • No till
    • Minimum till
    • Conventional till
  • Planting Rate:
    • Row Planting: 3 lbs/acre or roughly 20,000 seeds/A
    • Seeder: 4 lbs/A or roughly 25,000 seeds/A
    • Broadcasting: 5 lbs/A or roughly 30,000 seeds/A
  • Planting Depth:
    • Row: Plant or seed at a depth of 1.5” to 2.5”
    • Broadcast / drag: Drag into a depth of 1.5”
  • Weed Control:
    • Burndown: Burndown with 22 oz Roundup PowerMAX® (0.77 acid equivalent glyphosate)/A and disk prior to planting.
    • Pre-emerge at seeding: Burndown with 22 oz Roundup PowerMAX® (0.77 acid equivalent glyphosate)/A after planting and prior to sunflower emergence.
    • Post-emerge: Apply 4 oz/A Beyond® herbicide (Imazamox) when sunflowers reach 2-8 leaf stages; earlier in that window will provide better control than later.
  • Fertilization: Have soil samples tested about a month before planting and make adjustments to fertility levels based on lab results.
    • Pre-plant application: 200 lbs/A of a 25-5-25 fertilizer blend.
    • In-season application: 200 lbs/A of a 25-5-25 fertilizer blend.
  • Days to Maturity:
    • Dove Pro CL 21 – average of 128 days
    • Dove Pro CL 55 – average of 125 days
  • Days to Bloom:
    • Dove Pro CL 21 – average of 69 days
    • Dove Pro CL 55 – average of 68 days

Field Prep for Attracting Doves*

  • Dove field preparation should begin 2 to 3 weeks before opening day of the hunting season, or the first date you plan to hunt the field. This provides ample time to prepare the field for hunting and to attract and concentrate doves at the field site.
  • When planting is timed properly, sunflower seed heads will have matured and completely dried by this time, making the plot ready to be mowed.
  • Mow strips in the field every 1 to 3 weeks to shatter the seed and accelerate feeding. This practice provides doves with new seed on a constant basis. Be sure to leave some sunflower rows standing to serve as hunter blinds; these strips will also serve as another seed source to be utilized later in the hunting season. You can determine the width of mowed strips based on equipment size and/or your personal preference.
  • If necessary, a chemical desiccant can be applied before mowing. This practice can be effective when late-season weed pressure has occurred or sunflowers are not completely dried.
  • Sunflowers are physiologically mature when outer bracts on the seed heads are brown and the backs of heads are yellow. Desiccants applied at this time will speed drying, increase seed shatter when mowing, and help clean fields of late-season weeds. Some chemical desiccants commonly used on sunflowers are sodium chlorate, paraquat and a glyphosate product like Cornerstone® 5 Plus herbicide.
*Per Mississippi State University Extension Service recommendations
A sunflower field and prepping your plot for hunting season

Armor® Seed, Cornerstone®, CROPLAN®, Section® and WinField® are registered trademarks of WinField United. Clearfield® and Beyond® are trademarks of BASF. CruiserMaxx® and Dynasty® are trademarks of Syngenta. Roundup PowerMAX® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC. Lumisena is a trademark of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies.

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