Video Blog
Lab to Field Research - 2012 Video Blog
Join us on a video journey this year following a sunflower research plot in Mandan, ND. The season-long project, from the lab to the field, will be studying the fit of a hybrid with a particular environment.

Our camera will follow Dr. Brent Hulke, USDA-ARS Research Geneticist, and his crew as they evaluate the effectiveness of breeders in selecting attributes of a hybrid to be adaptable to different growing environments. The Mandan, ND site is one of six locations that also includes Velva, Carrington and Wyndmere, North Dakota; Crookston, Minnesota; and Eureka, South Dakota.

STAY TUNED! as we follow this research project during the 2012 growing season. Each segment will be posted here, on our NSA Facebook page, and on NSA YouTube.
Segment #2 - Thinning the Plants
Sunflower plant 4 to 6
inches tall
6/18/2012 - We're back at the small research plot near Mandan, ND about a month post-plant with a crew who is thinning plants. Plants are about 4-6 inches high. The goal is to thin the plants to get them down to a desired population within the row. Research assistant and master's student Alison Stone explains the process. Watch the video now on NSA YouTube.
Segment #1 - Planting the Research Plot
Dr. Brent Hulke and his
crew getting the tractor
and seeder ready to plant
5/21/2012 - Dr. Brent Hulke, USDA-ARS Research Geneticist, and his crew planted the 1.6-acre sunflower plot near Mandan, ND. This plot has 169 different hybrids replicated twice. The study will evaluate whether breeders have been able to capture hybrids for distribution to the farmer to be adapted for multiple environments. Watch the first segement of the 2012 Lab to Field Sunflower Research Video Blog at NSA YouTube.
What's UP - 2011 Video Blog
Follow the exciting journey of the 26-acre sunflower plot at the USDA ARS Mandan Research Laboratory's research farm from late May through early November of the 2011 growing season.

Brief video segments were filmed approximately every two weeks during the growing season covering such topics as soil fertility needs, seedling emergence, plant stand, canopy establishment, seed development, dry-down and, finally, harvest.
Segment #13 - Harvest: Season Finale
Sunflowers being harvested
Time for HARVEST: The Season Finale. On Nov. 3, 2011 the 26-acre sunflower plot we've been following all year with the National Sunflower Association's "What's Up" Video Blog was harvested. Thanks for watching all 13 segments of the sunflower field's journey at the Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan, North Dakota. Watch it now at NSA YouTube.
Segment #12 - Pre-Harvest
The frost has come, the sunflowers are dry and harvest is just around the corner in this 12th segment of the "What's Up" blog that gives a pre-harvest perspective from three fields including the 26-acre plot followed throughout the season. Stay tuned for HARVEST! Watch #12 now at NSA YouTube.
Segment #11 - R-9 Mature
Desiccated sunflowers
In the 11th segment of the "What's Up" video blog, Dr. Don Tanaka discusses the decision to desiccate the 26-acre sunflower plot to hasten the harvest. The chemical harvest aide will be sprayed via a crop duster airplane in order to facilitate the dry-down process. Getting the sunflower crop off early with the aid of a desiccant can minimize loss and pay good dividends. Watch it now at NSA YouTube.

For more information on desiccating click here: Desiccant Considerations.
Segment #10 - R-7 Stage
In this 10th segment, the 26-acre plot is in the R-7 stage with the back of the heads turning yellow and the bracts showing some brown. An early-season frost did not damage the crop, but may have impacted nearby fields of corn and soybeans. Above-average temperatures forecasted this week should push these plants to maturity during the remainder of seed fill helping to achieve better test weight and oil content. Watch it now at NSA YouTube.
Segment #9 - R-5 to R-6 Stages
In the 9th segment, plants are around the R-6 stage when blooming is complete and the ray flowers are beginning to wilt. Filmed on Sept. 2, the seeds continue to reach maturity as the plants begin to dry down on the road to harvest. Watch it now at NSA YouTube.
Segment #8 - Production Issues in the Northern Region
The 8th segment in the sunflower blog offers a perspective on production issues in the Northern region this year. Four different fields are featured including the 26-acre plot that has been followed in the blog all season. Possible yield-limiting factors are discussed in the context of a late planting season due to extremely wet conditions. Take a look at NSA YouTube.
Segment #7 - BLOOM!!!
Showing off the BLOOM in this seventh segment of the "What's Up" sunflower blog on Aug. 23, 2011. The field is buzzing with activity of pollinators. The sunflowers keep their heads looking toward the sun and soak up the rays as they work to fill the seeds. Watch the latest burst of color at NSA YouTube.
Segment #6 - Late Bud Stages
The sunflowers are in the late bud stage, just before bloom, on Aug. 18, 2011. Very minimal insect activity, namely the red seed weevil, was detected and discussed in this 6th segment of "What's Up" sunflower blog. Stay tuned next for BLOOM Watch it at NSA YouTube.
Segment #5 - V10-V14 Stages
The sunflowers at the 26-acre research plot featured in the "What's Up" video blog have enjoyed above-average heat units in this area in mid July to grow to about 24-28 inches. Watch the fifth segment dealing with weed emergence and beneficial insects. Tune into the latest in the series of blog segments at NSA YouTube.
Segment #4 - Emergence
The sunflowers have emerged and are thriving at the 26-acre sunflower plot at the USDA ARS Mandan Research Laboratory's research farm. Watch the fourth segment of the season discussing emergence issues such as growing degree units and plant stand with Dr. Don Tanaka, soil scientist at at NSA YouTube.
Segment #3 - Planting
It's time to plant (finally!) on June 16, 2011 at the 26-acre sunflower field at the USDA ARS Research farm near Mandan, ND. In this third video segment late planting issues and wet conditions are addressed by Dr. Don Tanaka, soil scientist. Watch it now on YouTube at NSA YouTube.
Segment #2 - Pre-Plant Herbicide Application
Watch the second segment in the "What's Up" video blog featuring Lynn Westrum of Sprayers, Inc. as he applies the pre-plant herbicide to the 26-acre sunflower plot at the USDA ARS Mandan Research Laboratory's research farm. Watch it NOW on YouTube at NSA YouTube.
Segment #1 - Getting the Planter Ready
The first video segment features planter readiness with Dr. Don Tanaka, soil scientist. Watch it now on YouTube at NSA YouTube.
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