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Sunflower Briefs

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

USDA Report Shows 4% Hike in Acres
       The USDA-NASS planted acreage report released in late June placed the area planted to sunflower in 2018 at 1.46 million acres, up 4% from 2017. Compared with last year, acreage declined in five of the eight major sunflower-producing states. Both of the Dakotas showed higher planted acreage compared with last year, with increases of 22,000 and 68,000 acres in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively.
       Planted area of oil-type varieties, at 1.31 million acres, is up by 8% from 2017. Area planted to nonoil varieties, estimated at 147,000 acres, is down 21% from last year.

From left to right: Karl Esping, Kansas; Art Ridl, North Dakota; Lance Hourigan, South Dakota; Kevin Capitstran, Minnesota
NSA Board Members Go to Washington 
       Several members of the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors traveled to Washington, D.C., this past spring on behalf of the Association.  They made visits to members of Congress from Kansas, Minnesota, North and South Dakota to discuss the 2018 farm bill as well as FY 2019 appropriations. Additionally, the group met with officials of USDA-APHIS/Wildlife Services to discuss blackbird depredation concerns.
Former NSA President on FCIC Board
       North Dakota producer Michael Clemens was selected earlier this year to serve as a farm industry board member on the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors. N.D. Senator John Hoeven recommended Clemens, who operates a family farm outside of Wimbledon, N.D., for the position. Clemens has run the family farm for nearly 40 years and has helped with the development and support of various crop insurance policies through his work with sunflower and corn grower associations.  He is a past president of the National Sunflower Association. 
       The FCIC helps facilitate a stable agriculture economy by promoting the necessary research and expertise to devise and implement crop insurance. The board is also responsible for approving new policies and plans or any modifications to current crop insurance plans.
Bratland Now President of Legend Seeds
       Legend Seeds has promoted Tim Bratland to president, effective August 1, 2018. Bratland’s appointment is part of an executive transition that includes prior president Glen Davis moving into the role of CEO. Bratland has been involved with Legend Seeds since its beginnings in 1990 when he started cleaning seed for Legend’s owners, Glen and Janet Davis. In 2002 he joined the Legend Seeds family and began working with their production division. Since then, Bratland has held several leadership roles within the organization, most recently serving as general manager. This appointment marks the second presidential appointment in Legend Seeds history, formerly held by Glen Davis. Bratland currently serves as president of the 2018 Independent Professional Seed Association, which represents the unique needs of independent seed companies and promotes the interests and capabilities of regional seed companies.
Safety Reminders Around Grain
       People who work with grain — loading it, unloading it or moving it from bin to bin — need to stay alert to the hazards of flowing grain and how to prevent a grain entrapment situation, reminds veteran North Dakota State University extension ag engineer Ken Hellevang. People can become caught or trapped in grain in three different ways: the collapse of bridged grain, the collapse of a vertical wall of grain, and entrapment in flowing grain. Moving or flowing grain is involved in all three.  Here are some general safety precautions put forth by Hellevang:  
       • Don’t let children work or play in an area where there is flowing grain.
       • All workers involved in a situation where there is flowing grain should be warned to stay out of the grain.
       • Warning decals should be placed at all bin entrances, on all rail cars, truck and trailer boxes used for grain hauling, and on all gravity discharge wagons.
       • Never enter a grain bin without stopping the auger first and using “lock-out/tag-out” procedures to secure it.
       • Never enter a grain bin alone; have at least two people at the bin to assist in case problems arise. Use a safety harness or safety line when entering the bin.
       • Install a permanent life-line hanging from the center of the bin for a person to grab on to.
       • Control the access to grain storage facilities to prevent grain entrapments.
       For more information on this important subject, check out the NDSU publication “Caught in the Grain.” It’s available online at  

Brian Smart and Brandt Berghuis
2018 Curt Stern Scholarship Recipients
       Brian Smart and Brandt Berghuis are the recipients of this year’s Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship, administered by the National Sunflower Association. Smart and Berghuis were recognized in late June during the Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser at the NSA Summer Seminar.  Each will receive $2,450.  
       Smart is pursuing a double master’s degree in Plant Science and Software Engineering from North Dakota State University.  Berghuis has worked in sunflower pathology for five years and is currently a Ph.D. student at NDSU.           
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