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Sunflower Briefs

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Sunflower Crop Insurance Additions
       The National Sunflower Association requested, and USDA’s Risk Management Agency has approved, certain additions to crop insurance for sunflower in 2020.
       First, sunflower producers will have coverage for loss due to Sclerotinia bodies and dark roast in varieties bred specifically for medium seed size for hulling, such as conoil varieties.  The market for these varieties continues to grow each year, and this addition will give producers coverage for discounts they might encounter at the processing plants.
       Second, Master Yields (MY) will now be available in Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.  Sunflower is grown in a longer rotation and has multiple types (oil vs. confection), which can lead to a very slow process to populate a grower’s APH data set.  MY will give producers the option of obtaining more-effective crop insurance protection for sunflower.
       MY will not be available to North Dakota producers as they currently have the option of using Personal Transitional Yields to populate their APH dataset.
Japanese Body Approves Trade Deal
       In latter November, Japan’s powerful lower house of parliament approved the U.S. and Japan trade agreement that will lower or eliminate tariffs into Japan’s market for many agricultural products.  The measure moved to the less-powerful upper house, where it was expected to win passage as well.
       The trade pact reduces the tariff for U.S. sunflower oil, putting the U.S. on par with foreign competitors.  Under the agreement, the tariff on crude sunflower oil is reduced by one-third of the base rate as of January 1, 2020, and scheduled to fall to zero by April 1, 2023.
       Japanese consumption and import of sunflower oil are increasing and are expected to grow by 5% annually.  Removing the tariff will ensure the U.S. sunflower industry remains competitive in the Japanese market and will foster the future export of sunflower oil to that nation.
2019 Confection Crop Quality
       Confection sunflower growers and processors faced a myriad of challenges during the 2019 growing season that seemed to become more uncooperative as one traveled north through the sunflower growing region of North America.  Especially hard hit were growers in the Dakotas and Minnesota, starting with delayed planting, then moving on to a cool growing season and excessively wet weather in September, which in turn continued into the colder months with snow.  The soggy weather conditions led to quality problems, with Sclerotinia and dark roast becoming major factors in confection seed quality.  As of early December, some sunflower remained in the fields at higher-than-normal moisture rates that may cause continued quality problems.  With smaller-than-expected production in 2019, processors will do their best to meet the needs of customers until 2020 production becomes available.
Torno Re-elected to NSA Board
       Mark Torno has been re-elected to the NSA Board of Directors as a representative of the hybrid seed industry.  Torno is Diverse Field Crops product manager for CROPLAN Seed.  He has worked for WinField since 1997 in different roles from sales agronomist to his current role as marketing manager for wheat, sunflower and canola.
       Torno grew up on his family’s farm near Bottineau, N.D., and is a graduate of North Dakota State University.
Colo. No-Till Confab Feb. 4 & 5
       The Colorado Conservation Tillage Association hosts the 32nd High Plains No-Till Conference on February 4 and 5 in Burlington, Colo.
       Keynote speakers include North Dakota holistic management rancher Jerry Doan, New Mexico State University molecular biologist David Johnson and USDA-NRCS soil health specialist Willie Durham.  There will be more than 45 breakout sessions during the conference, focusing on topics ranging from ag technology to soil health, farm business and general no-till to regenerative grazing and marketing.  The conference also features a trade show and social.
      Click here to see the program and registration details for the 2020 High Plains No-Till Conference.       
Internat’l Conference in June
       The 20th International Sunflower Conference will take place on June 22-25, 2020, in Novi Sad, Serbia.  The event is hosted by the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops Novi Sad and the International Sunflower Association.  The ISC program will consist of invited talks, parallel scientific sessions and poster sessions, followed by a field day on the 25th.
       Click here for information on the conference. 
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