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Sunflower Briefs

Friday, January 25, 2019
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Sunflower Research Forum Held in Fargo 
         Nearly 100 growers, industry representatives and researchers attended the National Sunflower Association’s 41st annual Sunflower Research Forum on January 9-10 in Fargo, N.D.  Researchers from North and South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Iowa presented papers and posters on their work.  Attendees heard presentations on weeds, insects, disease and new varieties of sunflower. All presentations are being uploaded to the NSA website. 
         Forum attendance and the number of presentations were affected by the U.S. government shutdown, as USDA sunflower researchers were unable to participate in this year’s event. 
2019 Research Requests Total $300,000+ 
         The National Sunflower Association received 14 research proposals for 2019, totaling $304,626.  The NSA Research Committee met in early January to review the proposals and make recommendations for the NSA Board of Directors. The NSA board will make final decisions on funding during their annual spring meeting in late February. Proposed projects encompass studies of insects, disease, weeds and production. 
Nominations Invited for NSA Gold Award 
      The National Sunflower Association annually presents its Gold Award to an individual who has contributed extraordinarily to the overall sunflower industry, either through his or her occupation or through the National Sunflower Association. This award is considered to be the highest award that the NSA presents to individuals. The award has been given since 1989.  Some past Gold Award winners are John McLean, Larry Kleingartner, Duane Berglund, Sen. Mark Andrews, Chuck Moses, Jim Krogh, Gary Fick, Joe Caroline and John Swanson. 
         Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 NSA Gold Award.  Click here for the eligibility and criteria requirements. Nominations must be received by February 15, 2019.  The NSA Board of Directors will review all submitted applications and choose a winner. The Gold Award will be presented during this year’s NSA Summer Seminar, set for June 25-27 in Medora, N.D. 
NDSU Updates Crop Compare Program 
         North Dakota State University Extension has updated the Crop Compare program, which is a spreadsheet designed to compare cropping alternatives.  The program provides a tool for producers to check the changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made in the spring of 2019. It uses the direct costs and yields from the 2019 projected crop budgets for nine regions of North Dakota, but producers are encouraged to enter the expected yields and input costs for their farm.  The user designates a reference crop and enters its expected market price. Depending on the region, a broad selection of nine to 18 crops are compared. The program provides the prices for competing crops that would be necessary to provide the same return over variable costs as the reference crop. 
         “Producers can compare these ‘break-even’ prices to expected market prices to see which crop is most likely to compete with the reference crop,” says Andy Swenson, NDSU Extension farm management specialist. “Grain prices can move quickly. The program provides a tool for producers to check the changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made this spring.” 
         Producers should note that an underlying assumption is that fixed costs, such as machinery ownership, land, and the owner’s labor and management, do not vary among crop choices and therefore do not need to be included in the analysis. 
“In practice, there may be differences in fixed costs that should be considered,” Swenson says. “For example, there may be additional labor, management and risk associated with a competing crop. 
         The Crop Compare program is available online here
Access Yield Trial Data & Hybrid Disease Ratings 
         Yield trials are an important way for producers to look at a hybrid’s performance in several locations over several years and environments.  
         To find yield trials and hybrid disease ratings for your state, click here
High Plains iPad Drawings 
         The National Sunflower Association High Plains Committee will be giving away an iPad at each of the upcoming ag shows: 
         • No-Till on the Plains, Wichita, Kan. – January 29 &?30 
         • CCTA High Plains No-Till Conference, Burlington, Colo. – February 5 & 6 
         For a chance to win, producers must stop by the NSA High Plains booth and register. Winners will be publicized after the shows. 
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