About Safflowers. A Brief Introduction
Safflower is an annual crop grown primarily in the western Great Plains area of the United States that is primarily grown for the oil pressed from the seeds of the safflower. They prefer growing in a dry location and provide farmers with an option for dry crop rotation. The safflower is a relative of the sunflower and it is prized for its seeds. The seeds have many uses from being pressed into oil to be used in cooking and manufacturing, mash that is made into birdseed, as well as numerous health and beauty uses.
The safflower seed is not harvested until the plant is dry and brown, so care must be taken not to shake the plants during harvest allowing the seeds to fall to the ground. It can be harvested using a combine and then dried further before storage to prevent molding. Harvesting when the safflower seeds are at 12% moisture and then allowing to dry further is the best way to ensure that the majority of the crop will dry completely avoiding loss of product and income.