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You Are Here Sunflower Magazine > Sunflower Briefs

Sunflower Magazine

Sunflower Briefs
March 2014

Gary Fick Named 2014 ‘Gold Award’ Recipient

Gerhardt (Gary) Fick has been named the recipient of the 2014 National Sunflower Association Gold Award. The Gold Award is presented to individuals who have contributed extraordinarily to the overall sunflower industry, either through their occupation or through the association. This award is considered to be the highest honor bestowed by the NSA.

Fick served as Fargo-based USDA-ARS research geneticist from 1971 to 1977, becoming widely known for his work in the development of hybrid sunflower using the cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restorer system. Fick was a key person in the release of the very first sunflower hybrids in the United States. He then went on to a highly successful career as a commercial sunflower breeder with SIGCO Research and Seeds 2000. Fick continued breeding sunflower until he was 70 years old. He has received many international awards for his work.

The NSA Board of Directors selected Fick for the Gold Award at their February meeting. He’ll receive the award at the NSA Summer Seminar, scheduled for June 24-26 in Deadwood, S.D.

2013 Crop Quality Report Now Available

The 2013 U.S. Sunflower Crop Quality Report is now available on the National Sunflower Association’s website. Find it at The NSA produces the report annually. It contains useful information about sunflower acreage and production, confection and oil-type seed quality, mid-oleic and high-oleic oil quality analysis and oil traits, product specifications, oil trading rules, statistics on marketing the crop, world and U.S. supply and demand tables, sunflower oil and meal exports for the United States, and other related topics of interest.

Hourigan, Deraas Now NSA Board Members

The South Dakota Oilseeds Council has appointed Lance Hourigan to be an additional representative on the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors. Hourigan is a Lemmon area producer and current director of the S.D. Oilseeds Council.

Robert Deraas, a veteran food and agribusiness leader and president of CHS Sunflower, also has joined the NSA board. Deraas has been CHS Sunflower’s president since July 2013. Prior to that, he was CHS Sunflower operations manager. Deraas replaces Steve Arnhalt on the NSA Board of Directors.

Sclerotinia Initiative Meeting Update

Reports from researchers at the annual meeting of the National Sclerotinia Initiative meeting, held in late January in Minneapolis, indicate that positive progress is being made on this difficult disease. The disease affects most broadleaf crops and requires multiple genes for resistance. The greatest progress is being made with improved genetics. Resistant genes are being identified in a number of wild sunflower species. Transferring those genes to cultivated sunflower is the present task. The Initiative is federally funded and encompasses, in addition to sunflower, crops such as soybean, canola, peas, lentils and edible beans. Researchers from 14 different states are involved in projects, with a great deal of collaboration among universities and USDA-ARS researchers.

NSA Research Forum Presentations Online

PowerPoint presentations of all the reports given at the 2014 Sunflower Research Forum can be found on the NSA website under the “Research” tab. For a historical look, all presentations dating back to 2008 also are available. Go to: research/research-forum-presentations/2014/.

Researchers from seven states and Manitoba presented a total of 22 papers and 15 posters at the 2014 Sunflower Research Forum, held in Fargo, N.D., in early January.

Sunflower Kernel Exports Increase in Oct.-Jan.

Exports of sunflower kernel to Spain more than doubled from October 2013 to January 2014, compared to the same period the prior year. Spain imported 1,013 metric tons (MT) from October 2013 to January 2014, compared to 546 MT during the same time frame last year. Overall, kernel exports stood at 3,663 MT, which compared to 3,672 MT during the same period last year.

Sunflower oil exports for October 2013 to January 2014 were up by more than 2,000 MT from the previous October-January, from 6,768 MT last year to 8,914 MT this year.

Colorado Growers to Vote on Checkoff Increase

Colorado sunflower growers will soon have an opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Colorado Sunflower Marketing Order. The referendum will allow Colorado sunflower growers the option to increase the sunflower assessment to a new rate of 6.0 cents/cwt. The sunflower assessment is currently 3.0 cents/cwt. The increase, if approved, will be invested in high-priority sunflower research projects.

Ballots are going out to current sunflower growers in Colorado. For more information, contact Ron Meyer, Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee executive director at (719) 349-1101 or (719) 346-5571.

CHS & Minn-Dak Growers Commodity Partners

Minn-Dak Growers, Ltd., a worldwide supplier of mustard, buckwheat and safflower for food ingredient applications, and CHS Inc., a leading farmer-owned cooperative and major global supplier of confection sunflower and small grains, have signed an agreement to jointly contract, service and market certain commodities for the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. Under the agreement, Minn-Dak growers across Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Montana have access to the agronomic field expertise and contract services from CHS, along with expanded marketing support.

NSA High Plains Committee Gives Away iPads

The NSA High Plains Committee gave away one iPad at four different ag shows this winter. The lucky winners were:

• Richard Epard, Colby, Kan. (Cover Your Acres in Oberlin);

• Jennifer Henrikson, Courtland, Kan. (Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Manhattan);

• Kenny Rhoads, Big Springs, Neb. (Salina No-Till Conference in Salina);

• Annette Gleason, Benkelman, Neb. (Colorado Conservation Tillage Association, Burlington).

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