2011 NSA Funded Research
The National Sunflower Association selected and funded the following research projects for the 2011 year. Funding was also in part possible due to the North Dakota Oilseeds Council, South Dakota Oilseeds Council, Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee, Kansas Sunflower Commission, Minnesota Sunflower Council and the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.
2011 NSA-Funded Research Projects
Development of Management Strategies to Control Sunflower Rust Using Genetic Resistance and Fungicides

Investigators: Sam Markell, NDSU; Tom Gulya, USDA ARS NCSL

  1. Fungicide evaluation and timing in early onset epidemics.
  2. Assessment of pathogen diversity
  3. Identification of sunflower resistance sources (and genes) in the sunflower germplasm core collection.
  4. Educate a Ph.D. level sunflower-pathologist
Funded Amount: $14,592
Determination of vegetative compatibility groups and their aggressiveness of Verticillium dahliae occurring on sunflower

Investigators: Sam Markell, NDSU

Description:The first objective of this project is to determine the VCG(s) of Verticillium dahliae that infects sunflowers in the United States and abroad. The second objective is to determine the aggressiveness of a representative sample of sunflower isolates from each VCG identified. Third objective is to develop a SCAR marker for Verticillium dahliae

Funded Amount: $59,980
Monitoring the Distribution of Downy Mildew, Verticillium and Charcoal Rot on Sunflower: A Multiple States Approach

Investigators: Tom Gulya, USDA ARS NCSL; Dr. Marcia McMullen NDSU; Ron Meyer, CO State Univ.; Robert Harveson Univ of Nebraska.

Description: Collect downy mildew samples for race identification from ND, SD, MN, KS, NE and CO at midseason. Collect up to 100 soil samples from same six states and assay for the presence/quantity of Macrophomina and Verticillium. Visit fields with positive charcoal rot and Verticillium lab assay to determine disease incidence prior to harvest. Determine Verticillium races in greenhouse tests, and supply isolates to NDSU post-doc for VCG analysis.

Funded Amount: $30,974
Phomopsis Resistance Evaluation of USDA Cultivated Sunflower Germplasm

Investigators: Tom Gulya, USDA ARS NCSL and Brent Hulke, USDA ARS NCSL

  1. Evaluate cultivated sunflower germplasm in field disease nurseries to assess Phomopsis resistance .
  2. Evaluate commercial oilseed and confection hybrids to assess the current level of Phomopsis resistance.
  3. Coordinate with Project Geneticist, Dr. Brent Hulke and post-doc Zahirul Talukder to use the Phomopsis phenotyping data in association mapping, and subsequent SNP marker development.
Funded Amount: $8,488
Characterization of Phomopsis species in the US: Species prevalence, pathogenicity and development of a greenhouse screening technique

Investigator: Sam Markell, NDSU

Description: This research project has one short term (this year) and four additional long term objectives. A) Characterization of the species and their prevalence causing phomopsis on sunflowers in North America, focusing primarily on North Dakota, South Dakota and Norwest Minnesota, B) Develop and test a method for screening sunflower germplasm for phomopsis in the greenhouse.C) Determine the aggressiveness of these species on phomopsis in greenhouse, D) Compare the U.S. Phomopsis specie(s) in the United States to those in other important sunflower growing areas in the world (winter nursery and production areas), and E) educate a Ph.D. level sunflower pathologist. Because this proposal is intended to be the first of a series on phomopsis stem canker over the next three-four years, objective A and the beginning of objective B is what we anticipate we can accomplish in year one.

Funded Amount: $39,570
Sunflower Rust

Investigator: Sam Markell, NDSU

Description: Test fungicides for early onset of rust to determine timing and other factors. Project leader will determine best locations.

Funded Amount: $10,000
Evaluation of sunflower for resistance to seed insect pests in the northern plains

Investigators: Janet Knodel NDSU; Gerald Seiler and Brent Hulke USDA ARS; Kathy Grady SDSU

Description: Evaluate selected accessions, interspecific crosses, and lines in screening nurseries for resistance to the banded sunflower moth in North Dakota and red sunflower seed weevil in South Dakota.

Funded Amount: $15,040
Screening sunflower for reaction to infestation by the sunflower midge and seed maggot

Investigators: Janet Knodel and Patrick Beauzay, NDSU

Description: To evaluate and score commercial sunflower hybrids for their midge reaction.

Funded Amount: $7,000
Development of Resistance to Stem and Seed Insect Pests of Sunflower in the Central Plains

Investigators: Janet Knodel, NDSU; Gerald Seiler and Brent Hulke USDA ARS; Rob Aiken KSU Colby

Description: Evaluate selected breeding lines, accessions, and interspecific crosses in screening nurseries for resistance to the sunflower stem weevil, sunflower longhorned beetle, and sunflower moth in Kansas.

Funded Amount: $23,900
Mitigation of Yield Losses to Dectes texanus in Rainfed Sunflowers

Investigator: JP Michaud, KSU

Description: Evaluate two stay-green hybrids for their potential to mitigate losses to D. texanus (Dectes) in rain fed oilseed sunflower. Quantify the degree to which the 'stay green' trait will retard the desiccation of sunflower stalks and delay the onset of girdling by D. texanus larvae, and other stalk insects, in comparison with a conventional NuSun hybrid. Determine the median stalk moisture level that triggers the girdling behavior of D. texanus larvae. Plot post-maturity changes in stalk breakage forces in two stay-green hybrids versus a conventional NuSun hybrid and correlate these with moisture content and larval girdling. To clarify the interactions between plant size, stalk desiccation, and soil moisture on the progression of larval girdling by D. texanus.

Funded Amount: $10,970
Mitigating the Threat of Palmer Amaranth to Sunflower Production

Investigator: Phil Stahlman, KSU

  1. Evaluate experimental compounds and herbicides labeled for use in other crops that might have potential for use in sunflower.
  2. Investigate ways to improve the performance of labeled herbicides and perform cost/benefit ratio analysis for economic comparisons of treatments.
  3. Determine if Express-Sun™ or Clearfield™ sunflowers double cropped after winter wheat offer any protection against soil residues of sulfonylurea or imidazalinone (principally imazamox) herbicides applied to wheat.
Funded Amount: $18,000
Managing Deficit Sprinkler Irrigation for Sunflower Production

Investigator: Freddie Lamm, KSU

  1. Examine the effects of 12 different irrigation management regimes (Initial sprinkler capacity limited to 25 mm every 4, 8, or 12 days with irrigation season starting dates of July 1 or July 15 and with and without preseason irrigation input of 127 mm.
  2. Determine the effect of three sunflower populations (44,500, 56,800 and 69,200 plants/ha) as affected by irrigation regime on canopy formation, components of seed yield, water use and water use efficiency.
  3. Compare the economics of the 36 different sunflower production systems using a partial budgeting approach to evaluate differential costs and returns.

Funded Amount: $7,840
Field trial expansion for sunflower genetics research

Investigator: Brent Hulke, USDA ARS

Description: Expand testing of existing lines to locations relevant to sunflower production, and increase our ability to handle new production threats through breeding and marker-assisted trait integration.

Funded Amount: $71,500
Nitrogen Management for Irrigated Sunflowers

Investigator: Joel Schneekloth, CSU

  1. Further refine fertigation recommendations as a comparison to pre-plant applications.
  2. Better understanding of nitrogen uptake of sunflowers with and without pre-plant applications of nitrogen.
Funded Amount: $7,000
Determining Salt Tolerance among Sunflower Genotypes

Investigator: Steve Hagu, Texas A & M
  1. Develop rapid and reliable screening method for determining salt tolerance on an individual plant basis.
  2. Describe the salt tolerance of genotypes that maybe used in breeding programs.
  3. Train a graduate student in regards to the scientific process, plant breeding, and sunflower production.
Funded Amount: $6,000
Boosting Sunflower Production in SW Colorado with Supplemental Irrigation

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the response of sunflower to targeted irrigation.
  2. Determine the response to N rate and to N by Irrigation interaction.
  3. Develop guidelines to optimize sunflower oil production in SW Colorado with supplemental irrigation.
Funded Amount: $8,000
Evaluation of Sunflower in Dryland Crop Rotations

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the effects of sunflower in rotation with other crops on: a. Crop yields and quality (seed oil or protein concentration) b. Soil moisture availability c. Nutrient (N & P) availability d. Pest dynamics
  2. Assess the agronomic and economic feasibility of the various cropping systems 3. Disseminate the research results to a wide audience via publications and field days.
Funded Amount: $9,298
Development of a Perennial Sunflower for Use in an Integrated Blackbird Management System

Investigator: Michael Kantar, University of MN

Description: The objective of this research is to use current genetics and plant breeding techniques to introgress genes for perennial habit from Helianthus tuberosus L. (2n=6x=102) into domesticated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L., 2n=2x=34). H. tuberosus is part of the secondary gene pool of sunflower and has been used as a donor of many disease resistance traits, most notably Sclerotina resistance, making it an excellent donor for perennial habit. Because of previous success in gene transfer from H. tuberosus, we believe we will be successful in transferring perennial habit into annual sunflower, thus creating a perennial sunflower with high enough yield to attract blackbirds and divert them from commercial fields.

Funded Amount: $15,000
Evaluation of 9, 10 Anthraquinone Bird Repellent for Managing Blackbird Damage to Ripening

Investigator: George M. Linz, USDA/WS

  1. To compare the efficacy of an open-field test with 0.5 gal/acre and 1.0 gal/acre AQ in commercial oilseed sunflower fields for reducing blackbird damage to ripening sunflower. Would be on a 10 acre crop destruct basis.
  2. To assess the residues of AQ on treated sunflower fields
Funded Amount: $10,858
Gauging Oilseed & Confectionary Sunflower N Response in the Texas High Plains

Investigator: Calvin Trostle, Texas A&M

  1. Identify two research test sites in the area of Dumas and Lubbock, TX with soil profile N levels < 25 lbs. N per acre at 0-4' (first choices are Texas AgriLife Research facilities at Etter and Lubbock, TX);
  2. Assess responses of yield, sunflower seed oil content, and confectionary seed sizing to N fertilizer rates under irrigated production; C. Evaluate the effect of splitting the timing of N fertilizer application of at-plant vs. ~V-8.
Funded Amount: $4,200
Rotational Study to determine the impacts of including double crop sunflower (following winter wheat) in a typical corn: wheat: double crop soybean rotation.

Investigator: Brian Caldbeck, Caldbeck Consulting

  1. Commercial comparison of double crop sunflower versus double crop soybean
  2. Measure corn yields following both crops
  3. Provide comparative information on the population dynamics of pest nematode species
  4. Provide comparative information on soil profile fertility levels.
Funded Amount: $3,775
Row Spacing and Population Effects on Double-Cropped Sunflower Productivity

Investigator: Rob Aiken, KSU

Description: Determine effects of row spacing, population and hybrid on sunflower development and productivity, when double-cropped after wheat.

Funded Amount: $9,000
Water Use of Double-crop Sunflower in the Southern Great Plains

Investigator: Chad Godsey, OK State University

Description: To evaluate water use and water use efficiency of double-crop sunflower in Oklahoma.

Funded Amount: $7,086
2011 Crop Survey

Investigator: Duane Berglund

Description: Conduct annual survey of the sunflower crop to determine production issues that may need research/education attention

Funded Amount: $12,000
Transfer of SSR Markers to SNPs

Investigator: Lili Qi, USDA ARS NCSL

Description: Taking existing SSR rust markers that have been mapped and tranfer them to SNP markers. Purchase key software and lab material necessary for the transfer.
Funded Amount: 
Doubled Haploid Production in Sunflower

Investigators: Chao-Chein Jan, USDA ARS NCSL and Richard Horsley, NDSU

Description: To develop an efficient protocol for doubled haploid production in sunflower that can be adopted by seed companies with modest laboratory facilities and personnel with some training in tissue culture techniques. This project is funded through the seed companies.

Funded Amount: $77,058
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