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Sunflower Briefs

Monday, February 5, 2018
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Highlights from January USDA Crop Report
       Despite the drought in the Dakotas last year, sunflower yields in the United States were the third highest on record. The USDA report on 2017 sunflower crop production, released January 12, shows a U.S. average yield per acre of 1,613 lbs/ac, down 118 lbs from 2016. But in North Dakota, where many growers saw severe drought, the average yield declined only 80 lbs from 2016, to 1,636 lbs/ac.
       “A dry year like we just had really showcases the drought tolerance of sunflower,” says John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association. “This latest estimate for North Dakota’s production was 51% higher than what USDA forecast in October.”
       South Dakota, the leading sunflower-producing state during 2017, produced 1.04 billion lbs, a decrease of 2% from 2016. Compared with 2016, planted area in South Dakota increased 11%, but yield decreased 208 lbs to 1,750 lbs/ac. South Dakota sunflower production was forecast to be 879 million lbs back in October.
       “A lot of producers thought they might need to work the crop down, but I am sure they are glad that they didn’t after harvesting a much better-than-expected sunflower crop,” adds Sandbakken.
       United States 2017 production of nonoil sunflower varieties was estimated at 312 million lbs, an increase of 10% from 2016. Area harvested, at 172,700 acres, was up 6% from 2016. The average nonoil yield increased by 75 lbs from 2016 to 1,804 lbs/ac — the second highest yield on record.
       Production of oil-type sunflower varieties, at 1.86 billion lbs, was down 22% from 2016. Compared with the previous year, oil-type harvested acres were down 14%, with the average yield decreasing by 146 lbs compared with 2016, to 1,585 lbs/ac.
2018 Research Funding Requests at $218,000+
       The National Sunflower Association received 11 research proposals for 2018, totaling $218,219. The NSA Research Committee met in early January to review proposals and make recommendations for the NSA Board of Directors. The NSA board will make final decisions on funding during their annual spring meeting in late February. Proposed projects include studies of insects, disease and production.
Nominations Invited for NSA Gold Award
       Every year, the National Sunflower Association presents its Gold Award to an individual who has contributed extraordinarily to the overall sunflower industry, either through his or her occupation or through the National Sunflower Association. This award is considered to be the highest award that the NSA presents to individuals. The award has been given since 1989.  Some past Gold Award winners are John McLean, Larry Kleingartner, Duane Berglund, Sen. Mark Andrews, Chuck Moses, Jim Krogh, Gary Fick and Joe Caroline.
       Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 NSA Gold Award. Click here for the eligibility and criteria requirements. Nominations must be received by February 23, 2018. The NSA Board of Directors will review all submitted applications and choose a winner. The Gold Award will be presented during this year’s NSA Summer Seminar, set for June 26-28 at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center near Alexandria, Minn.
NSA Research Forum Draws Good Attendance
       Nearly 125 sunflower growers, university and USDA researchers and industry representatives attended the National Sunflower Association’s 40th annual Sunflower Research Forum on January 10 and 11 in Fargo, N.D. Researchers from North and South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa and Canada presented a total of 24 papers and 11 posters. Attendees heard presentations on weeds, insects, disease and new varieties of sunflower. All presentations are available now on the NSA website. Click here to view this year's presentaitons.
National Sclerotinia Initiative Meets in Mpls.
       Representatives of the National Sunflower Association were in attendance at the annual National Sclerotinia Initiative meeting, held January 17-18 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Initiative supports projects aimed at neutralizing white mold’s economic threat to seven different crops: sunflower, soybean, canola, edible dry beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas.
       The Sclerotinia consortium of federal and state university scientists includes 10 commodity groups, and it is led by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA’s chief scientific research agency.
Find State Hybrid Trial Results Online
       Yield trials are an important way for sunflower producers to look at hybrid performance in several locations, across several years and environments. Click here to find yield trial data and hybrid disease ratings for individual states.
Sunflower Production Guides on NSA?Website
       It’s never too early to be thinking about spring planting. NSA Sunflower Production Resource books have lots of helpful information. Click here to access them all online. Check out the Sunflower Production Resource Book for your area. The book provides guidelines and recommendations on production practices, pest identification, field selection and more.
Sign Up for E-Publications
         Interested in receiving a digital copy of Sunflower Highlights each week in your email? Click here to sign up on the NSA website. You can also sign up for a digital copy of The Sunflower magazine there.       
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