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A Look Back: 40 Years Ago

Monday, August 28, 2017
filed under: Historical

       Editor’s Note:  As there was no August or September issue of The Sunflower magazine in 1987, we’re going to head back in time 10 more years.  The excerpts below come from the August 1977 issue.  That issue was published two years to the month after Volume 1, Number 1 of this magazine, which came out in August 1975.
       The cover photo of this August 1977 issue featured Troy and Lori Kuehl, children of Felton, Minn., sunflower producer Kenneth Kuehl.  Linda Moses, wife of Interstate Seed Company president Charles Moses, snapped the photo.

       Acreages Set Record — “The North Dakota planted sunflower acreage is estimated at a record 1.2 million acres, a 94 percent increase over the 1976 figure, according to the North Dakota Crop & Livestock Reporting Service.  Oil-type varieties are up sharply with an estimated 1 million acres planted.  This is an increase of 131 percent over 1976.  Non-oil types (confectionary and bird seed) are up only 7 percent from last year with an estimated 200,000 acres planted. . . .
       “The acreage planted to sunflowers in Minnesota is estimated at a record 460,000 acres an increase of 115 percent.  Oil varieties account for 410,000 acres, up 124 percent from the 1976 planted acreage.  The non-oil types . . . were set at 50,000 acres, a 61 percent increase over 1976. . . .
       “South Dakota and Texas were added to the Federal sunflower estimating program for the 1977 crop with no previous years’ data available.  Total sunflower acreage for South Dakota is 180,000 acres and for Texas, 250,000 acres.”
       Store Your Sunflowers Properly / Information from Cargill — “The large increase in sunflower acreage this year has prompted many new growers and country elevator operators to inquire about the proper storage of sunflower seed.  It may be helpful to briefly review some of the lessons that we at Cargill have learned the hard way about the storage of this valuable crop.
       “Seed must be cleaned for storage.  Remove as many fines as possible.  A concentration of fines can seal off a bin and cause heating because air cannot be pulled through the pile.  Large pieces of head and stalk should be removed as this is the highest moisture fraction of the seed. . . .
       “Aeration is a must.  Experience has shown that seed with moisture as low as 8% tends to heat if temperature is not reduced soon after it has been put in the bin.  Everyone loves sunflower — including the grain weevil.  If temperature of stored seed is reduced to about 45 degrees, weevils will become dormant and will not cause damage or multiply.
       “Moisture content is most important.  Seed is not safe at the same moisture in all cases.  We have stored sunflowers at 11.5% moisture for up to 90 days, but this seed was cleaned at cooled with aeration.  After 90 days, the deepest part of the pile tended to start heating and probably would have gone out of condition if stored much longer.  This is not recommended — especially in bins not equipped with temperature cables.  However, it does illustrate the greatly improved keeping quality of cleaned, cooled seed.
       “Growers should check bins at least once a week [for signs of] moisture condensation on the roof or crusting.”
       Sunflower Council Created By 45th Legislature / By Myron Just, North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture — “The sunflower council, the product promotion group created by the last legislature for one of North Dakota’s fastest growing crops, met for the first time in Bismarck in June.
       “The council consists of seven members, six of which were elected from six districts in the state.  The commissioner of agriculture is the seventh member of the council. . . .  (Note:  The initial six council members were Marv Klevberg from Northwood, Joe Peltier of Arthur, Jerry Shradick of Wahpeton, Art Dockter from Streeter, Tony Prom of Harvey and Paul Haroldson, Coteau.)
       “To carry out the activities of the council, all sunflowers sold in the state will be assessed one penny per hundredweight.
       “Sunflowers look like a promising crop for North Dakota.  They are currently vastly underutilized.  There is excellent potential to develop new uses and markets for North Dakota sunflowers.  Thus the work of the sunflower council should provide productive and rewarding results for North Dakota sunflower growers.”
       International Sunflower Conference to be Held in Minneapolis — “The 8th International Sunflower Conference will be held at The Leamington Hotel, Minneapolis, MN, on July 24, 25, 26, 1978.  It is expected that over 500 people will attend this conference.  Of this number, over half are expected to be coming from 35 to 40 different countries throughout the world. . . .
       “Previous conferences were held in Krasnodar, Russia in 1976; Bucharest, Romania in 1974; and in Clermont Ferrand, France in 1972.  (Note:  The first four international conferences all took place in North America: College Station, Texas [1964]; Morden, Manitoba [1966]; Crookston, Minn. [1968]; and Memphis, Tenn. [1970].)
       “The purpose of the Conference is to give a forum for research scientists throughout the world to [disseminate] the results of their work.  These reports will be compile dand printed and sent to all participants as well as to universities and libraries throughout the world.”                                                                                                                                                                                       
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