NSA Receives Specialty Crop Grant
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has awarded the National Sunflower Association $77,500 to develop a confection sunflower variety resistant to downy mildew and rust. The money is part of six grants totaling $435,384 given to promote the development and cultivation of specialty crops in North Dakota. North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring says specialty crops, like confection sunflower, are becoming more important in North Dakota as more consumers turn to local food sources and as farmers seek to diversify their production.
Dow AgroSciences Aligns Sales Force
Dow AgroSciences LLC has realigned its sales organization in the southern United States to provide additional focus and specialization for its fast-growing portfolio of crop protection, seeds and trait technologies. The company is establishing separate sales forces for its crop protection and seed businesses. This change means the Southern crop protection sales force will focus on delivering new and emerging technologies for weed, insect and nematode control in row crops and specialty markets. Dow AgroSciences seed representatives will sell PhytoGen® cottonseed and both Mycogen® and Triumph® brand seeds in corn, soybean, sunflower, sorghum and forage markets.
The new alignment will support the Southern expansion of Mycogen Seeds and continue to grow the Dow AgroSciences crop protection portfolio. In addition, the company says it will combine its range and pasture business with the industrial vegetation management sales force to serve customers across the country. As part of this alignment plan, Dow AgroSciences will add new sales territories, agronomists and other personnel to support the expanded sales potential. Dow AgroSciences is already serving customers with separate crop protection and seed sales organizations in other regions of the country.
MayAgro and BASF Sign Licensing Agreement
MayAgro Seed Corporation and BASF have signed a global, nonexclusive agreement under which BASF will license Clearfield® Plus herbicide tolerance for sunflower to MayAgro in certain countries in Europe. This agreement allows MayAgro Seeds to be one of the first seed companies to develop seed hybrids that are tolerant to the new line of BASF Clearfield Plus herbicides. The Clearfield Plus Production System for sunflower, developed using traditional plant breeding, delivers season-long weed control and greater crop tolerance across environmental stresses, as well as the potential for increased oil content and grain yield, BASF notes.
Cargill Modernizes West Fargo Oilseed Plant
In time for the 2013 harvest, Cargill has completed a rebuilding and expansion project at its oilseed processing plant in West Fargo, N.D. Construction began in the fall of 2011. The facility processes canola and sunflower seeds into edible oil for food processing and food service businesses; flaxseed for linseed oil for industrial use; and protein meal for animal feed. The $50-million-plus investment includes a moderate expansion in overall capacity. The expansion reflects increased demand for products like sunflower and canola oil, as well as the company’s commitment to farmer-customers who supply the plant. “We modernized a facility that was a little more than 30 years old and also expanded our capacity,” said Jaysen Schock, facility manager. “The project allows us to be a good market for our farmer and elevator customers. It also helps keep pace with the growing demand from our food customers.”
Seeds 2000 Is Now Nuseed
SEEDS 2000® is now part of Nuseed® America. The company says this will strengthen customer relationships by providing new and better hybrids that meet producers’ needs and improve their bottom line. Nuseed has programs based in Australia, Argentina, Serbia, and in Minnesota and California in the United States. Nuseed says growers can look forward to new product releases across the sunflower spectrum, including confection and dehull varieties — all carrying herbicide-tolerant traits — and high-oleic oil products with higher oil and oleic scores. The company says disease tolerance and agronomic attributes will also improve.
Bion® New Option for Downy Mildew
There’s a new weapon against downy mildew, which can be one of sunflower’s most devastating diseases. Bion® fungicide from Syngenta will be offered to growers as another component to the existing CruiserMaxx® Sunflower insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination of separately registered products, expanding early season disease protection in sunflower. During recent field trials, according to Syngenta, CruiserMaxx Sunflower plus Bion seed treatment was applied to a downy mildew-inoculated and susceptible hybrid. Seed treated with CruiserMaxx Sunflower plus Bion showed an 80% reduction in downy mildew incidence, compared to untreated seed, Syngenta reports.
Cargill Constructing Sun Oil Plant in Russia
Cargill has begun construction of a new sunflower oil crush plant in the town of Novoanninskiy in the Volgograd region of southern Russia. The company will invest in excess of US $200 million in the facility, which will process up to 640,000 tons of sunflower seeds annually. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to be operational in time for the 2015 harvest. It will serve Cargill’s food and feed industry customers, both in the Russian domestic market and globally.
Syngenta Swiss Center to Study Broomrape
Syngenta has opened an international research facility focused on combating broomrape, a parasitic weed that has a devastating impact on sunflower. The Broomrape Center of Excellence will create solutions with multiple modes of action by bringing together the best seed and crop protection research capabilities at Syngenta's R&D facility in Stein, Switzerland. The opening commenced with a series of grower workshops highlighting the capabilities of the research facility.
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