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Sunflower Briefs

Monday, March 26, 2018
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

John Swanson
Swanson Named NSA Gold Award Honoree
       John Swanson has been named the 2018 NSA Gold Award winner. Swanson, who has worked in the sunflower industry for more than 45 years, began his sunflower career in 1971 as a production fieldman for Dahlgren & Company. He also worked as a domestic and international salesman of edible sunflower, new product development manager, and general manager of the planting seed division. In 1993, when the Dahlgren seed division was sold, Swanson joined Croplan Genetics (Land O’Lakes), where he worked until retirement as the first and only sunflower product manager.
       Swanson served on the NSA Board of Directors for 12 years as secretary/treasurer. He is currently finishing his last term as chairman of the Minnesota Sunflower Council. The NSA Board of Directors selected Swanson for the Gold Award at its late February/early March meeting. He’ll receive the award at the 2018 NSA?Summer Seminar, which will be held at Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, Minn., June 26-28.
Results of 2017 Sunflower Crop Quality Survey
       The 2017 U.S. Sunflower Crop Quality Report shows an average oil content (10% moisture basis) of 41.6% across the 3,160 oil-type seed samples included in the survey of last season’s U.S. sunflower crop. That compares to 43.2% in 2016, 42.5% in 2015 and 41.5% in 2014. Test weight of those 2017 seed samples averaged 30.0 lbs/bu, down 1.0 lb from the 2016 and 2015 levels.
       Oleic oil levels of the high-oleic seed samples analyzed from the 2017 sunflower crop averaged 86.37%. That compares to 85.60% in the 2016 survey. The oleic levels of the 2017 NuSun® seed samples averaged 70.67%, compared to 66.06% in 2016. 
       Among the 2,065 nonoil seed samples analyzed from the 2017 crop, plump seed (over 20/64) averaged 87.1%, which was above the 2016 and 2015 averages of 82.4% and 84.8%, respectively. Average test weight of last season’s nonoil samples came in at 20.2 lbs/bu, which compares to 20.1 and 20.6 lbs, respectively, in 2016 and 2015. 
       Foreign material in the 2017 oil-type seed samples averaged 5.1%, while that of the nonoil samples registered an abnormally high 16.3%. The corresponding numbers for 2016 were 4.4% and 12.3%, respectively.
       The 2017 survey included samples from the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. The crop quality survey, compiled by the National Sunflower Association and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, has been conducted annually since 1981. Click here to see the full 2017 U.S. Sunflower Crop Quality Report.  Reports from prior years also can be viewed there.
FMC Introduces Authority® Supreme
       The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency have granted registration for Authority® Supreme herbicide in sunflower for the 2018 growing season. Authority® Supreme is the only premix of sulfentrazone and pyroxasulfone and gives long-lasting residual control of small-seeded broadleaf weeds and grasses. The new herbicide is effective against ALS, triazine, HPPD, ESPS (glyphosate) and PPO herbicide-resistant weed biotypes. It controls a wide spectrum of weeds including waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, pigweed, nightshade, lambsquarters, kochia, morningglories, smartweed, foxtail, barnyard grass and fall panicum. The herbicide is labeled for fall and spring preplant and pre-emergence applications, up to three days after planting. It can be used in Clearfield®, ExpressSun®, conventional, oil and confection sunflower.
N.D. Producer on ‘State Plate’ Show
       Last summer, NSA First Vice President and Bismarck, N.D., sunflower producer Clark Coleman graciously hosted a film crew from the TV show “State Plate.” The episode featuring Clark and his recipe for sunflower pie aired in February. The show, hosted by platinum selling arist and “American Idol®” winner Taylor Hicks, airs on the INSP channel. Click here to learn more about “State Plate."
Spitz Alberta Plant Closing
       The Spitz sunflower seed plant in southeastern Alberta will close later this year, and production will be moving to the United States. The plant is currently located in Bow Island, Alberta (southeast of Calgary). The closure will impact 53 employees. The late Tom and Emmy Droog started Spitz about 30 years ago. The Droogs sold the company to Pepsico in 2008.
NSA Again Offering Stern Scholarship
       The National Sunflower Association is seeking applicants for the Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship. Scholarship funds assist students who study in the field of agriculture with a special emphasis on sunflower production, promotion or research. Application deadline is April 1. Preference will be given to students who are in their last two years of undergraduate studies or in graduate level studies and who have maintained at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 = A scale. A total of $4,600 is available for the scholarship this year. Click here for more information and to apply. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt with any questions.
Research Forum Presentations Online
       PowerPoint presentations of reports given at the 2018 Sunflower Research Forum can now be found on the NSA website under the “research” tab. Click here to see this year’s presentations.  For a historical look, all presentations dating back to 2008 are available there as well. Researchers from the Dakotas, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa and Canada presented a total of 24 papers and 11 posters at this year’s Sunflower Research Forum.
Maximizing Efficiency on Fertilizer Inputs
       With tight profit margins projected in 2018, ag producers generally are cautious about their spending on crop inputs. Sunflower “mines” nitrogen left behind by other crops, reducing helping optimize fertilizer inputs; and, the ef?ciency of nitrogen utilization by sun?ower is relatively high.
       New nitrogen and phosphorus recommendations based on general productivity history and not a yield prediction model are now available. Use these links to access more info:
     •  Fertilizing Sunflower
     •  Sunflower Nitrogen Calculator
North Dakota County Sunflower Elections
       North Dakota county sunflower representatives were elected in two of the state’s seven sunflower districts in February.  In District 4, newly elected county reps include Preston Leier (Emmons County), Jody Horner (Logan County) and Clark Coleman (Burleigh County and current district representative on the NSA?board).  Elected in District 5 were Stan Buxa (Wells County) and Nathan Neameyer (Rolette County).  All county reps are eligible for the district election and to serve on the NSA’s Board of Directors for a three-year term.  The District 4 election takes place on March 22 at the Main Street Diner, Fessenden. District 5 election is scheduled for March 26 at the Steele Vets Club in Steele.
Production Guides on NSA Website
       NSA Sunflower Production Resource books can be sources of helpful information on a variety of production topics. Click here to access them all online. Check out the Sunflower Production Resource book for your area. The book provides guidelines on production practices, pest identification and much more.            
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