New Book About Blackbirds Available for Pre-order
A new book by George M. Linz, Michael L. Avery, and Richard A. Dolbeer is available for pre-order here. The book, “Ecology and Management of Blackbirds (Icteridae) in North America” summarizes the biology and life histories of blackbirds and their conflicts with humans into a single volume for researchers, wildlife managers, agriculturists, disease biologists, ornithologists, policy makers, and the public. It provides in-depth coverage of the functional roles of blackbirds in natural and agricultural ecosystems. In doing so, this authoritative reference promotes the development of improved science-based, integrated management. The book will officially be released on June 20.
As sunflower planting approaches for the major production region, it’s important to take a close look at planter condition and settings. Achieving the perfect plant stand is one of the most critical challenges for growers each year. The NSA website offers a series of tutorial videos featuring John Smith, Agricultural Engineer with the University of Nebraska at Scottsbluff. Smith conducted seed placement tests on oil sunflower and large seeded confections using a variety of metering and planter types. His observations and recommendations for calibration and adjustments to achieve excellent plant spacing can be viewed here.
Pest Management App Available
Tired of carrying around those thick pest management guides? Download the NDSU Pest Management app -- it includes everything that is printed in pest management guides, plus more. For example, the app has full color photos of weeds, insects, and diseases. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices – just search NDSU Pest Management. The app is free, thanks to funding from several commodity groups, including the National Sunflower Association. Producers who use the app are encouraged to send comments and feedback to email@example.com.
With the release of the USDA March Planting Intentions report, the market and producers have an idea of what and how much of it might get planted in 2017. The market can now give price signals to which crops it wants to see an increase or decrease in acres this year. The one figure that surprised traders was the soybean intentions. The market expected acres to increase this year but the USDA number was at the high end of expectations and this coupled with the huge South American soybean crop that is growing with each new forecast is weighing on soybean prices. The March report also gives producers a chance to see what others are thinking of planting this year and offers the ability to reset the crop plans if the market directs them to do this. USDA estimated producers will plant 1.16 million acres to oil type sunflowers in 2017 representing a decrease of 18 percent from 2016. The estimate for oil type varieties was lower than industry expectations. Historically when USDA's March intentions report showed acreage below industry expectations, new crop prices firmed up after that and in most cases prices have moved higher as the industry looked to secure seed supplies. Depending on how final planted acres turn out this year it could happen again and diversifying market risk with some sunflower acres could be a good option in 2017.