Sunflower picker

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Posted by Bryan S (WI) on September 06, 2016 at 17:38:27 [URL] [DELETE] :

I've been posting on the N forum about restoring my 1948 8N, however, I'm also and recently the proud owner of a good running fully original (but rusty) 1958 Ford 861 (with power steering and a 711 loader). Part of the deal with my wife for acquiring this tractor was that I had to promise to plant a sunflower field on a 4 acre parcel we own. I've done plenty of alfalfa, soy and hay in my younger days working on the farm but I don't know anything about sunflower planting and harvesting equipment. I'm also committed to using the 861 for these tasks so no special harvesters, etc. So here are my questions, sorry there's a lot :

* Will a corn picker work for sunflowers or do I have to look for a specific "sunflower" picker?
* Can a normal corn picker be easily modified for sunflowers?
* What are the common/best/easiest to get parts manufacturers for vintage/antique pickers (I like using equipment form the same era as the tractor)
* Did Dearborn make such an attachment?
* Will my 861 handle a 2 row picker, could I do three (if they exist) or should I use one row?
* Does one typically use a grain drill to plant sunflowers?

Thanks in advance for any help and/or direction!

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