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You Are Here Sunflower Magazine > Sunflower Briefs

Sunflower Magazine

Sunflower Briefs
September 2012

Kleingartner Receives NSA Gold Award

Larry Kleingartner, retired executive director of the National Sunflower Association, was presented with the NSA Gold Award during the group’s annual Summer Seminar in June. The Gold Award, bestowed upon individuals who have contributed extraordinarily to the overall sunflower industry, is the Association’s highest award.

Kleingartner was instrumental in starting the combined industry-grower organization known as the National Sunflower Association in 1981 and served as it executive director until retiring in December of 2011.

Stone This Year’s NSA Scholarship Recipient

North Dakota State University graduate student Alison Stone is the recipient of a $2,400 Curt Stern Memorial Scholarship from the National Sunflower Association. The award was presented her at the 2012 NSA Summer Seminar in June.

Stone, an M.S. degree candidate in the NDSU Plant Sciences Department, is conducting research within the USDA-ARS Sunflower and Plant Biology Research Unit in Fargo. Her current project with Dr. Brent Hulke is looking at whether sunflower breeders have been successful tailoring different hybrids to various environments.

Originally from Lakeville, Minn., Stone received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota at Crookston majoring in agricultural business with a minor in agronomy. After living in Eureka, S.D., for five years while working as a sales agronomist for CHS, she decided to return to school in order to further her career in the sunflower industry. With plans to graduate with her master’s degree in December of 2013, Stone would like to work in the Upper Midwest in a breeding program within the sunflower industry.

New Herbicide Approved for Sunflower

This past spring, FMC announced the release of BroadAxeTM herbicide, a potent new tool in the fight against weeds in sunflower. This new herbicide merges the two active ingredients in Spartan and Dual Magnum into one product, providing growers with pre-emergence control of grass and broadleaf weeds without the need for tank mixing. The application is early, up to 14 days preplant, to pre-emergence up to three days after planting. The synergy of this mixture offers nearly complete control of some of the real troublesome weeds, such as pigweeds and kochia as well as green and yellow foxtail, barnyardgrass, Russian thistle and common lambsquarters.

Warren New Colo. Sunflower Committee President

The nine-member Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee (CSAC) has voted to appoint board member Brad Warren of Keenesburg, Colo., as its new president. Warren, who has been farming for 15 years, is a 4th generation Colorado farmer who plants sunflower, wheat and corn. A member of the CSAC since the fall of 2011, he succeeds Leon Zimbelman, who had served as president since CSAC’s beginning in 2001. Zimbelman stepped down from that position earlier this year.

Colorado Assessment Will Not Increase

The proposed increase in the Colorado sunflower assessment did not pass. The Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee (CSAC) received a letter informing them that of the 681 ballots mailed to Colorado sunflower producers, 77 valid ballots were counted. Of those, 44 indicated a “No” vote and 33 had voted “Yes” in regard to the assessment. The CSAC had proposed an increase from the current $0.03/cwt. to up to $0.06/cwt.

Work Continues to Eliminate Sclerotinia

U.S. sunflower researchers continue to aggressively pursue solutions to Sclerotinia in 2012. The National Sclerotinia Initiative approved an allocation of $375,257 for sunflower research projects for this year. The Initiative was created by Congress 10 years ago to reduce the impact of this disease on sunflower and other crops.

Sunflower researchers located at the USDA-ARS Northern Crop Science Laboratory in Fargo, N.D., have been approaching the disease from a number of angles, including genetics and fungicides. The incorporation of genes from wild annual and perennial sunflower relatives is one of the key strategies for developing resistance. Identifying resistance includes laboratory, greenhouse and field testing.

The many cooperating scientists in this extensive project are located at universities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Canada and other USDA-ARS laboratories. It is a project of immense importance to the success of U.S. agriculture in general and sunflower in particular. The Initiative supports numerous scientists, graduate students and research technicians. Researchers agree that more progress has been made on this disease in the past five years than the last 50 years combined.

SoL Expands into Large Supermarket Chain

Sunrich Natural’s® non-dairy beverage SoL can now be found in Giant Eagle supermarkets throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland. More than 130 stores have begun stocking SoL Sunflower Beverage in their non-dairy beverage aisles. Giant Eagle, Inc., is one of the nation’s largest food retailers and distributors and the number one supermarket retailer in the region.

SoL, introduced to the marketplace last fall, is made from sunflower seeds sourced from American farms. It is naturally free of the eight most common food allergens — including soy, dairy, wheat and tree nuts — making it a choice for the allergin-free consumer. Sunrich Naturals is a SunOpta brand.

GMO Labeling Likely Going Before Calif. Voters

A proposal that would require labels indicating the food contains genetically modified ingredients could go before California voters. If required signatures submitted by a group called California Right to Know are verified, the measure will be on the ballot in November in that state.

The movement for GMO labeling seems to be gaining nationally. Earlier this year, the Washington-based Center for Food Safety submitted a petition with more than a million signatures to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling for mandatory nationwide labeling. Proposals, similar to the one in California, are in the works in 19 states, but have yet to move forward. For now, all eyes will be on the pending labeling law vote in California.

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