Neb. Researcher Receives Specialty Crop Grant
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center has been awarded a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for the evaluation and enhancement of insect pest resistance in confection sunflower. The grant will provide $40,000 for the first year of an anticipated three-year project.
UN entomologist Jeff Bradshaw, located at the Panhandle station in Scottsbluff, will coordinate the project looking at resistance to sunflower moth. Collaborators include Fargo, N.D.-based USDA-ARS research entomologist Jarrad Prasifka and research geneticist Brent Hulke. This work should complement a National Sunflower Association-supported project examining specific sunflower moth resistance traits in oilseed germplasm, which is currently in its first year.
RMA Announces Harvest Prices
The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced harvest prices for revenue insurance policies for sunflower in early November. The per-pound harvest price per pound for oil-type sunflower is 21.4 cents and that of confection sunflower, 27.9 cents. The spring prices were 26.6 cents for oils and 33.1 cents for confections.
Revenue insurance policies give farmers coverage if market prices fall and/or their production is below their proven yield. Given the dramatic drop between the spring and fall prices, producers should contact their local crop insurance agent to see if they are eligible for an indemnity payment due to a loss in revenue even if they have reached their proven yield.
Limagrain Acquires Eureka Seeds of California
Limagrain has announced that it has acquired Eureka Seeds Inc., based in Woodland, Calif. Eureka, founded in 1997 by its owners, Ken Scarlett and Craig Sharp, specialized in the production of hybrid sunflower seeds. Eureka Seeds contracted with local growers in the Sacramento Valley, where 95% of hybrid sunflower seeds grown in the U.S. are produced.
This acquisition will enable Limagrain to diversity its procurement sources, to increase its potential and spread risks, while supporting its strong growth in the global sunflower seed market. The field seed business of Eureka Seeds will become part of the AgReliant Genetics organization, the third largest seed corn company in North America. AgReliant Genetics is a joint venture between France-based Limagrain and the German company KWS.
FDA Ruling Aimed at Eliminating Trans Fats
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed measures that would all but eliminate artificial trans fats from the food supply. Artificial trans fats have already been substantially reduced in foods, but they still lurk in many popular products like frostings, microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers. The agency has proposed that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, no longer be “generally recognized as safe.”
Sunflower oil is a healthy alternative — in fact, NuSun® sunflower oil is naturally trans fat free. For more on sunflower oil, visit www.sunflowernsa.com/oil
2014 Sunflower Research Forum Is Jan. 8 & 9
The 36th annual National Sunflower Association Research Forum will be held at the Ramada Plaza Suites & Convention Center in Fargo, N.D., on January 8 and 9. This meeting brings together public and private researchers from several states and Manitoba, as well as sunflower growers and industry representatives, for updates on research advances and challenges.
The combination of grower and industry checkoff dollars, the Sclerotinia Research Initiative, universities and a strong commitment from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have all placed sunflower research as a high priority.
The Forum is open to all who are interested in sunflower production. It is not restricted to researchers only. Certified crop advisors can obtain education credits.
For more information on the 2014 Sunflower Research Forum, including registration details, go to www.sunflowernsa.com or call the NSA office at (701) 328-5100.
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