Article Archives
Sunflower Briefs

Friday, April 1, 2016
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

New Sunflower Fertilizer Recommendations
The last in-depth research for developing current nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) recommendations for sunflower in the Northern Plains was completed in the 1970s.  Over the past two years, the National Sunflower Association and South Dakota Oilseed Council have funded research that provides new N and P recommendations based on general productivity history, not a yield prediction model.  N and P recommendations are based on both documented yield responses to each and economic analysis. Use this link to the NDSU Fertilizing Sunflower Circular SF713 with the new recommendations. Also, see the summary article elsewhere in this issue of The Sunflower.

RMA Announces 2016 Price Elections
USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced 2016 crop insurance prices for sunflower in early March.  Oil-types have a spring price of $16.90/cwt with confections at $26.70.  Producers have the option of choosing Yield Protection, Revenue Protection and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion. All three policies have the same price election. Price elections for other commodities are corn, $3.86/bu; soybeans, $8.85/bu; and spring wheat, $5.13/bu.  Canola is $15.80/cwt.  When formulating your crop insurance plan for 2016, the best advice is to sit down with your local crop insurance agent so that you can put together the best risk management plan for your operation.  Your crop insurance agent can help you manage your business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions RMA offers.
Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting Update
Reports from researchers at the annual meeting of the National Sclerotinia Initiative meeting held in Minneapolis in latter January indicate that positive progress is being made on this difficult disease. The disease affects most broadleaf crops and requires multiple genes for resistance. The greatest progress is being made with improved genetics.  Resistant genes are being identified in a number of wild sunflower species. Transferring those genes to cultivated sunflower is the present task. The federally funded Initiative also includes others crops such as soybean, canola, peas, lentils and edible beans.  Researchers from 14 different states are involved in projects, with a great deal of collaboration among university and USDA-ARS researchers.
S.D. 2016 Pest Management Guides Available
The South Dakota 2016 pest management guides are available at no cost. The guides provide recommendations for controlling weeds, insects and diseases in several crops, including sunflower. The guides have been completely updated for 2016. There are several new products that have new names and corresponding changes made to the labels such as: rates for the chemicals, rotation restrictions, additive rates and products. Guides can be found by clicking here and at SDSU Extension regional centers.
Research Forum Presentations Are Online
PowerPoint presentations of all the oral reports given at the January Sunflower Research Forum can be found on the NSA website under the “Research” tab.  For a historical look, all presentations dating back to 2008 are available there as well.  Researchers from the Dakotas, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa and Canada presented a total of 16 papers and an additional 16 posters.

19th International Sunflower Conference in Turkey
The 19th International Sunflower Conference is scheduled for May 26 to June 3, 2016, in Edirne, Turkey.  This conference is  organized by the International Sunflower Association and Trakya University in Edirne.  Scientific subjects of broad interest to the sunflower community will be covered.  Subject areas include production, agronomy, breeding and genetics, genomics, biotechnology, and more. Click here for more details.
Researchers to be Honored at 2016 ISC
Every four years, the International Sunflower Association (ISA) hands out the Pustovoit Award at the International Sunflower Conference. This award is the highest honor given to people who dedicate their lives to working with sunflower. This May, Argentinian researchers Amelia Bertero and Carlos Sala will receive the award.  Bertero has been involved in sunflower breeding for 47 years, nearly 28 of them as part of the sunflower program at Nidera Baigorrita in Buenos Aires.  Sala, who passed away in 2013, worked with sunflower for more than 20 years.

NSA in DC: (left to right) Lance Hourigan, Karl
Esping, Art Ridl, Kevin Capistran
NSA Goes to Washington, D.C.
National Sunflower Association board members paid visits this winter to members of Congress from Kansas, Minnesota, North and South Dakota to discuss farm program issues and fiscal 2017 appropriations. They also met with key staff members of the USDA-ARS to ensure continued funding for the ARS Sunflower Research Unit in Fargo, N.D. In addition, the group met with officials from the USDA Risk Management Agency about crop insurance issues and USDA-APHIS/Wildlife Services about blackbird depredation concerns.
Keller Joins NSA Board of Directors
Mike Keller, commercial manager for ADM-Enderlin’s oilseed processing location, is the newest member of the NSA Board of Directors.  Keller has been with ADM in various capacities since 2000, the same year he graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in ag business.  Keller replaces Guy Christensen on the NSA board.
SunButter Utilizing New Roasting Process
SunButter® LLC is now dry roasting sunflower kernel on new top-of-the-line roasting equipment. SunButter® Sunflower Butter will now be produced in one continuous process from field to table that will ensure a fresh roasted flavor, improved product consistency, and a finished product that is free from all of the top eight food allergens. SunButter produced on the new equipment will arrive on store shelves in Spring 2016, and the packages will carry a “Now Soy Free” burst. Click here for more information about SunButter.
County-Level Commodity Numbers Available
County-level estimates for 2015 row crops are now available, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The estimates, based primarily on surveys conducted with farmers and ranchers last fall, can be accessed using the QuickStats online database, found here. County-level row crop estimates are not published if any of the following conditions exist:
  • Estimated planted acres are less than 500. ?
  • Insufficient number of producer reports were received to establish statistically defensible estimates. ?
  • Estimate would not guarantee confidentiality of reported data from an individual producer.
The commodity estimates released thus far include sunflower, corn, soybeans, canola and flaxseed.  County numbers for dry edible peas, lentils, chickpeas, other dry edible beans and hay will be published in April 2016.
Spring Drying & Storage Reminders
As temperatures rise and solar heat warms bins, the temperature of stored sunflower seed increases as well.  Here are some tips to keep stored sunflower from getting too warm: 
  • Run aeration fans periodically to keep the temperatures at a proper level.
  • Monitor stored sunflower seeds closely to detect any storage problems early.
  • Check the moisture content of stored sunflower to determine if it needs to be dried.  Oil sunflower seeds need to be dried to 8% for summer storage to prevent spoilage.
       For more on drying and storing, click here
‘Growers’ Website Link Offers Helpful Info
Spring planting — and more — on your mind?  If you have questions about growing sunflower, we have answers!  Visit the National Sunflower Association website. The “growers” section of the website addresses many questions and factors that influence a successful sunflower crop.  Several links are provided that give more details about many important topics, including approved chemicals, production, marketing, crop insurance and more.
New Sunflower Disease & Insect Guide Coming
Compendium of Sunflower Diseases and Pests is an all-new disease and insect compendium that will serve as a vital field guide wherever sunflower is grown.  It includes nearly 300 images and research-based management recommendations, allowing users to scout, identify and manage a range of diseases and insect pests.  NSA has worked with the publisher, The American Phytopathological Society, to secure an exclusive $30 pre-order discount for all NSA members. The book will ship in June 2016, but be sure to pre-order by May 31, to take advantage of this special offer. Use this link to order your copy.
NSA on Social Media
Make sure to visit and like the National Sunflower Association’s Facebook page. The NSA is also now on Twitter, so be sure to follow us!
NSA High Plains Committee iPad Winners
Congratulations to the four lucky winners of the iPads given away at recent ag shows.  The NSA’s High Plains Committee gave away one iPad at each of four different ag shows.
  • Patrick Hume (Colorado Conservation Tillage Association)
  • Larry Pridey (also CCTA)
  • Joel Shaw (Cover Your Acres meeting)
  • Seth Tracy (Kansas Independent Crop Consultants meeting)
The NSA High Plains Committee thanks all those who stopped by its booth at these winter meetings.
return to top of page

   More about Sunflower ►