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You Are Here Sunflower Magazine > Sunflower Briefs

Sunflower Magazine

Sunflower Briefs
November 2010

NSA Participates in Ag Hearing

Jeff Oberholtzer, National Sunflower Association board member from Mohall, N.D., presented testimony at a recent Senate Budget Committee hearing in Mohall on the 2012 farm bill. The hearing was organized by the committee’s chair, Sen. Kent Conrad (ND).

As a young farmer just getting started, Oberholtzer emphasized that crop insurance is the single most important piece of the federal program. “Without crop insurance, I simply cannot make the huge investment of inputs in each acre that is required in today’s production,” Oberholtzer said. He reported that NSA farm policy position does not recommend significant changes in existing farm policy. Recognizing that farm program expenditures will be under greater scrutiny, he emphasized that future programs need to allocate limited dollars wisely to provide a safety net that is so important today.

Anderson Seed Opens New S.D. Facility

Anderson Seed Co. has expanded to South Dakota. The Minnesota-based company broke ground this fall on a sunflower processing and hulling plant in Spink County near Redfield, S.D. According to the company’s website, the Redfield facility is presently receiving sunflower and will be offering a full line of sunflower products by January 2011.

The plant will have a capacity of 260,000 bushels and offer 20 new jobs to the area. Jobs include mill operators, quality control positions, office staff, forklift operators, baggers and maintenance staff.

Anderson Seed, headquartered in Mentor, Minn., is a family owned business. They have receiving stations in Selz, N.D., and receiving and cleaning stations in Durbin, N.D. The family also owns St. Hilaire Seed Company in St. Hilaire, Minn.

“We are very excited to put up a new facility in Redfield,” Stephenie Anderson, general manager, said in a press release. “The new location puts us closer to our growers in South Dakota, which will bring greater efficiency to our company.”

The $3 million project was partially financed with a loan from the South Dakota Revolving Economical Development Initiative administered through the state Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Initial 2010 Sunflower Crop Estimate

The first USDA sunflower production forecast for 2010 is 2.91 billion pounds, down 4% from 2009. Area planted, at 1.95 million acres, is down 7% from the June estimate and down 4% from last year. Sunflower growers expect to harvest 1.87 million acres, down 7% from June and down 4% from the 2009 acreage.

The October yield forecast, at 1,552 lbs/ac, is two pounds lower than last year’s record-high yield. USDA expects higher yields in six of the top nine sunflower-producing states, with only Colorado, Kansas and South Dakota expecting lower yields compared with last year. In North Dakota, the largest sunflower-producing state, yield is forecast at a record high 1,638 lbs/ac, up 120 pounds from the 2009 yield. For more October crop report details, go to

Research Forum & Call for Papers

The 2011 National Sunflower Association Research Forum will be held at the Ramada Plaza Suites & Convention Center in Fargo, N.D., on January 12 and 13. This annual event brings together public and private researchers, as well as growers and industry representatives interested in updates on research advances and challenges. Research reports can be either oral or poster presentations. To schedule a presentation and/or register for the meeting, go the NSA website at

2011 NSA Research Priorities

The National Sunflower Association Research Committee has formulated its 2011 research priorities. Production research is a significant part of the NSA strategy for long-term competitiveness. The project funding application process includes completing an application (which is online at Applications are then reviewed and rated by the NSA Research Committee, which is made up of public and private researchers, farmers and industry company representatives. The committee’s ratings are presented to the NSA Board of Directors for final funding decisions.

Seed Producer Bill Vaccaro, Sr., Passes

The U.S. sunflower industry lost another of its pioneers earlier this year with the passing of J. William (Bill) Vaccaro, Sr. A native of Modesto, Calif., he held a Ph.D in plant breeding and worked as a breeder for USDA and Northrup King prior to establishing Vaccaro Seed/California, a Chico-based increaser of foundation seed and producer of hybrid seed for commercial sunflower seed companies. Son Bill, Jr., joined him in the business in 1981, and Bill, Sr., retired in 1996. Vaccaro Seed was sold to Sunfield Seeds/California in 2002.

We’ve Gone Digital

The Sunflower magazine is now available in digital format. Website visitors can go to and click on The Sunflower Magazine tab. There, click on the “live” magazine cover icon to see the latest digital issue. New features of the digital magazine include: “page to page” navigation, searching and zooming – all with a click of your mouse. You can even email a page to a friend. Plus, utilize the “hot” links to magazine advertisers.

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