2012 NSA Funded Research
The National Sunflower Association selected and funded the following research projects for the 2012 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.
2012 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: $28,400
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. Develop an artificial inoculation method to efficiently create uniform disease in large field plots, applicable to both Phomopsis helianthi and P. gulyae.
Funded Amount: $8,635
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.
  1. Characterization of the species and their prevalence causing phomopsis on sunflowers in North America, focusing primarily on North Dakota, South Dakota and Northwest Minnesota,
  2. Develop and test a method for screening sunflower germplasm for phomopsis in the greenhouse,
  3. Determine the aggressiveness of these species on phomopsis in greenhouse,
  4. 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. 
Funded Amount: $39,570
Molecular mapping of resistance genes effective against newly emerged, virulent races of downy mildew in sunflower

Investigator: Lili Qi, USDA ARS NCSL

  1. to fine map the gene PlARG in the line RHA 464 using SNP markers,
  2. elucidate the inheritance of downy mildew resistance in three inbred lines, HA 458, RHA 428 and 803-1, and in a new cross with the resistance gene derived from H. argophyllus,
  3. to identify the chromosome location of the underlying genes, and (4) to use SNP markers to saturate the region in which the new resistance genes reside.
Funded Amount: $14,968
Evaluation of Sunflower for Resistance to Seed- and Stem-Infesting Insect Pests in the Great Plains

Investigators: Jarrad Prasifka, Brent Hulke and Gerald Seiler USDA ARS; Kathy Grady SDSU; Rob Aiken KSU Colby; Calvin Trostle, TX A&M

  1. Evaluate accessions, interspecific crosses, and breeding lines in nurseries for resistance to banded sunflower moth (North Dakota), red sunflower seed weevil (South Dakota), sunflower moth and sunflower stem weevil (Kansas) and collect data on agronomic suitability of testcross hybrids.
  2. Review experimental design, sampling protocols, and sample scoring to permit more efficient or accurate assessment of resistance using pooled sub-samples.
  3. Assess physical and chemical traits likely to contribute resistance to one or more of the primary insect pests of sunflower; quantitative or qualitative traits include pericarp toughness, presence of phytomelanin layer, and sesquiterpene lactone (terpenoid) content.
Funded Amount: $44,369
Development of Cost Effective Methodology for Sunflower Moth Control in South Texas

Investigator: Roy Parker, Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Description: Specific objectives include:
  1. determining whether early planted sunflowers sustain more or less damage from sunflower moth larvae,
  2. finding the most cost effective insecticide or combination for control of sunflower moth larvae,
  3. evaluating new insecticide chemistry to see if longer residual control can be achieved, and
  4. measuring improvement in seed quality.
Funded Amount: $2,500
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: $14,000
Sunflower Tolerance to Pyroxasulfone Applied PRE and Early-POST

Investigators: Richard Zollinger and Brian Jenks, NDSU; Mike Moechnig, SDSU; Phil Stahlman, KSU; Curtis Thompson, KSU

Description:To determine residual weed control and sunflower response from pyroxasulfon applied PRE and EPOST. This data will be used to support IR-4 registration of pyroxasulfon in sunflower.

Funded Amount: $20,000
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: $1,641
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: $7,500
Response of Two Sunflower Hybrids to Limited Irrigation and Nitrogen Rate

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the response of two sunflower hybrids to four irrigation treatments;  
  2. Determine the response to four N rates and to N by Irrigation interaction;
  3. Assess the results from 2010 through 2012 and make recommendations.

Funded Amount: $8,754
Evaluation of Sunflower in Dryland Crop Rotations

Investigator: Abdel F. Berrada, CSU

  1. Determine the effects of sunflower in rotation with other crops on: Crop yield and quality (seed oil or protein concentration); Soil moisture availability; Nutrient (N & P) availability; Pest dynamics
  2. Monitor several sunflower fields in Dolores County
  3.  Assess the agronomic and economic feasibility of various cropping systems
Funded Amount: $11,565
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, Callback 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: $6,000
2012 Crop Survey

Investigator: Hans Kandel, NDSU

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

Funded Amount: $14,500
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: $78,559
Eliminating Sunflower Rust in Confection Sunflower Through Aggressive Breeding and Isolate Identification

Investigator:Lili Qi, USDA ARS NCSL

Description: The project will incorporate three identified rust resistant genes into two acceptable confection genetic backgrounds and make them available to the private seed industry for incorporation into finished commercial hybrids. The resistant genes will be molecularly ‘marked' for ease of identity in the numerous backcrosses that will be required.

Funded Amount: $76,160
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