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You Are Here Sunflower Magazine > Sunflower Briefs


Sunflower Magazine

Sunflower Briefs
April 2012

Update on NSA SNP Project

National Sunflower Association personnel attended the recent International Sunflower Conference in Argentina. Among other meetings and seminars, promoting the NSAís SNP project was a priority goal. Venki Pegadaraju of BioDiagnostics, Inc., was on the conference program to talk about the project. According to Quentin Schultz of BioDiagnostics, 2,526 SNP markers have been assigned map location on the sunflower genetic map thus far. Of specific interest is the rust resistance gene that has been mapped. This marker is now available to consortium members for use in their breeding efforts.

For more information on the SNP project and the consortium, contact Quentin Schultz of BioDiagnostics, Inc., at (715) 426-0246 or NSAís executive director, John Sandbakken, at 701-328-5102 or johns@sunflowernsa.com.

NSA Board Funds 2012 Research Projects

During its March meeting, the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors approved funding for more than $226,000 toward research funding for 2012. Five projects related to disease issues (including rust, Phomopsis, downy mildew) were awarded a total of $91,573. Two insect projects focusing on seed- and stem-infesting insect pests were granted $46,869. Two weed projects were awarded a combined $34,000. One is a continuation of the work in palmer amaranth in the High Plains, and the other is work with a new chemical agent in sunflower called pyroxasulfone. In the production category, which includes funding for the 2012 crop survey, total funds of $53,735 were awarded to seven projects.

Contributions by the High Plains Sunflower Committee, private seed companies, state checkoff councils/commissions and state ag research funds were also a part of the overall sunflower research picture.

NSA Welcomes Arnhalt as New Board Member

Steve Arnhalt, general manager for all sunflower operations at SunOpta, has joined the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors. He was appointed to represent the confection industry and takes the seat previously held by Tim Egeland of Dahlgren & Company. Arnhalt, who has been in the sunflower industry for 14 years also currently is a member of the NSA Confection Committee.

Summer Seminar Set for June 26-28

The National Sunflower Associationís 2012 Summer Seminar is scheduled for June 26-28 at the Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, Minn. This is the 30th year for the event.

The event begins in Tuesday with the NSA board meeting, registration and evening dinner and fundraiser. The educational/informational sessions begin early the next morning with panel discussions and keynote speakers. The NSA Gold Award will be given out at this yearís noon luncheon. There will also be short breakout sessions that afternoon. Social event include the Curt Stern Scholarship fundraiser, tour and dinner at the Carlos Creek Winery, and golf at the Atikwa Golf Course.

A block of rooms for the seminar has been reserved at a discounted rate for June 26-27 under the National Sunflower Associationís name. Call (866) 386-5263 or the hotel directly at (320) 762-1124 to make your room reservations. The block will be released by May 26.

Email Lerrene Kroh at lkroh@sunflowernsa.com or call her at 701-328-5107 for more information on the 2012 NSA Summer Seminar. Registration details are available soon on the NSA website, www.sunflowernsa.com.

Key Documents Now Online

The 2011 U.S. Sunflower Crop Quality Report and the 2011 Sunflower Crop Survey are now posted online at www.sunflowernsa.com. The crop quality report includes the final numbers for the 2011 crop. A historical perspective dating back to 1999 is also available online. The document, produced annually by the NSA, contains useful information about the quality of the crop and statistics on marketing the crop.

The crop survey includes a final report by project leader Dr. Hans Kandel, extension agronomist with the NDSU Crop Science Department, Fargo, ND. Each fall, teams of surveyors take a tour of fields in sunflower producing states throughout the country and report back. This information is then compiled into one comprehensive report. Survey data are available dating back to 2002.

SURE Program May Pay Out for Sunflower

The 2011 growing season had its share of production problems. Millions of acres were not planted because of wet conditions, and crops that were seeded often suffered lower-than-normal yields. Many producers may receive some help through the federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program. SURE is a program administered by the U.S. Department of Agricultureís Farm Service Agency. For sunflower, the marketing year is September 1, 2011, through August 31, 2012.

A SURE Calculator program for 2011 is available through North Dakota State University at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmmanagement/tools. The program will estimate payments that may be made later this year.

There are several eligibility requirements for the SURE program. The producer must carry crop insurance on all crops unless a crop has less than a 5% economic significance to the farm. The farm must be in or adjacent to a county that has a federal disaster, or else the farm must have had a 50% revenue shortfall. In addition, the farm also must have a least one crop with a 10% revenue shortfall.

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