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Sunflower Briefs

Monday, October 22, 2018
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

First USDA Crop Forecast: 1.9 Billion Lbs
       USDA’s first sunflower production forecast for 2018, released on October 11, came in at 1.93 billion lbs, down 10% from the revised 2017 production of 2.16 billion lbs.  Area planted, at 1.30 million acres, is down 11% from the June estimate and down 7% from last year.  Sunflower growers are expected to harvest 1.24 million acres this year, down 12% from the June forecast and down 7% from 2017’s harvested acreage. The October yield forecast, at 1,560 lbs/ac, is 56 lbs lower than last year’s yield, but will be the fourth highest on record, if realized.
       As of October 1, lower yields were expected in six of the eight published states compared with last year, with increases only expected in California and Kansas.  The forecasted production in South Dakota, the leading sunflower-producing state this year, is 895 million lbs, down 13% from 2017.  For North Dakota, the 2018 production was forecast at 674 million lbs as of October 1. 
Palmer Amaranth Confirmed in N. Dakota
       Laboratory analysis confirmed late this summer that a plant found in a row-crop field in McIntosh County in south central North Dakota was Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri). It is the first time the weed has been found in North Dakota. Palmer amaranth is pigweed that originated in the desert region of the southwestern U.S. and has spread to the Mississippi Delta before invading Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota, as well as other states. The plant in McIntosh County likely came from seeds dropped by migratory birds. 
       Identifying Palmer amaranth can be difficult because it resembles redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth and waterhemp. One of the best ways to distinguish Palmer amaranth from the other pigweed family plants is its leaf stem, or petiole. Palmer amaranth’s petiole is as long as or longer than the leaf blade. Another characteristic is Palmer amaranth’s distinctive, long, snaky seed heads. The seed heads can grow up to two feet long. 
       For more about Palmer amaranth, including control strategies, click here.
NSA Receives Specialty Grants
       The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has awarded the National Sunflower Association $120,309 to apply genomic tools to accelerate breeding for disease resistance in confection sunflower. In addition, $28,000 was awarded to North Dakota State University for managing Sclerotinia head rot in confection sunflower with partially resistant hybrids. The money is a part of 25 grants the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved totaling over $3 million given to promote the development, cultivation, production and sales of specialty crops in North Dakota.
Correction to Aug/Sept 3RIVE 3D Article
       The article in The Sunflower’s August/September issue about FMC Corporation’s 3RIVE 3D at-plant formulation and application system contained an error. It was stated that Cruiser® from Syngenta was being applied through the 3RIVE 3D system.  That is not accurate.  Only 3D formulations may be used with the 3RIVE 3D system.             
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