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Sunflower Briefs

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Left to right: Karl Esping, Kansas;
Lance Hourigan, South Dakota; Clark
Coleman, North Dakota; Kevin Capistran,
NSA Leaders Advocate in Washington, D.C.
Members of the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors traveled to Washington, D.C., in early March to visit with members of Congress from Kansas, Minnesota and North and South Dakota about Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations and implementation of the WHIP+ program, along with discussing quality loss issues.  In addition, the group met with officials from USDA-APHIS/Wildlife Services to discuss blackbird depredation concerns; the USDA Risk Management Agency on adjusting losses in enterprise units when both oil and confection sunflowers are in the same farm unit; and with officials of the USDA Agricultural Research Service to support the National Sclerotinia Initiative.
NSA President Speaks at Bird Mgmt. Confab
NSA president and Bismarck, N.D., producer Clark Coleman was one of several featured speakers at the Bird Damage Management Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, in February.  Coleman shared information about sunflower losses caused by blackbirds and why this is an economic burden to producers.                          
The conference was sponsored by the Berryman Institute.  Professionals from around the U.S. discussed and shared management approaches, research strategies, policy and messaging around the management of blackbirds, starlings, corvids and vultures.
Corteva to Stop Producing Chlorpyrifos
Corteva will cease producing the agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos by the end of the year, the company said in early February.  Corteva sells chlorpyrifos under the Lorsban® brand. Environmental groups have pushed regulators to ban uses of the 55-year-old pesticide over concerns it harms people and wildlife.  The company said declining sales drove its decision to end production. Corteva officials said they continue to believe chlorpyrifos is safe and will go on supporting chlorpyrifos in an EPA review.  Other manufacturers are expected to continue offering chlorpyrifos in generic versions. 

Max Dietrich
Max Dietrich to Be Honored with Gold Award
The late Max Dietrich has been named the 2020 NSA Gold Award winner.  Dietrich, who passed away last fall, devoted much of his career to sunflower, holding numerous agronomic, sales and marketing positions with seed companies and also serving as NSA crop promotion director.  Dietrich is described as a leader and a “doer” in his sunflower work.  He put in countless hours to the NSA Sunflower Survey and served as chairman of the NSA Research Committee. 

The NSA Board of Directors selected Dietrich for the award at its February meeting.  The board will present his wife, Roxie, with the Gold Award at the 2020 NSA?Summer Seminar, which will be held in Spearfish, S.D., on June 23-25.
FMC to Sponsor Stern Scholarship Fundraiser
The National Sunflower Association is pleased to announce that FMC will be sponsoring this year’s Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser.  The fundraiser is an annual tradition during the NSA Summer Seminar.  The fun event gives participants a chance to win great prizes while contributing to the scholarship fund.  This year’s fundraiser will be held on the evening of Tuesday, June 23 in Spearfish, S.D.
FMC Introduces New Herbicide for 2020
FMC has launched a new preplant and pre-emergence herbicide called Authority® Edge. The EPA has approved registration for use in sunflower.  Authority Edge controls a wide spectrum of weeds, including waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, pigweed, kochia and foxtail. The new herbicide is effective against ALS, triazine, HPPD, glyphosate and PPO herbicide-resistant weeds.
Research Forum Presentations Online
 Those not able to attend this year’s NSA Research Forum in Fargo, N.D., can still learn about the latest sunflower research. PowerPoint presentations of all the reports given at the Forum can be found on the NSA website under the “research” tab.  Click here to see this year’s presentations.  For a historical look, all the presentations dating back to 2008 are available there as well.  Researchers from North and South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Iowa presented papers and posters on their work at the 2020 event.
NSA Summer Seminar in Spearfish June 23-25
Circle these dates on your calendar: June 23, 24 and 25. Those are the date’s for this year’s NSA Summer Seminar, to be held in Spearfish, S.D.  A block of rooms has been reserved at the Spearfish Holiday Inn. Standard rooms are $124.99 plus tax; suites are $154.99 plus tax; poolside rooms are an additional $30 per night plus tax. Click here to make a reservation. Use the group code NSA. 

The Summer Seminar program is being finalized now and registration will open soon. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with questions.
NSA Board Approves $469,000+ for Research
At their February meeting, the NSA Board of Directors reviewed and approved funding for 14 research projects for 2020. The projects total $469,157.  Funded projects include studies of insects, disease, weeds, production and more.  
Spring Sunflower Seed Storage Reminders
As outdoor temperatures increase, stored grain requires attention to prevent losses, reminds Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer and grain drying expert.  The stored grain temperature increases in the spring not only due to an increase in outdoor temperatures, but also due to solar heat gain on the bin.  Solar energy produces more than twice as much heat gain on the south wall of a bin in early spring as it does during the summer.  

Here are some recommendations from Hellevang:
  • Run aeration fans periodically to keep the grain temperature near or below 30 degrees until the grain is dried if it exceeds recommended storage moisture contents — and below 40 degrees as long as possible during spring and early summer if it is dry.
  • Cover the fan when it is not operating to prevent warm air from blowing into the bin and heating the stored grain. Hellevang also recommends ventilating the top of the bin to remove the solar heat gain that warms the grain.  Provide air inlets near the eaves and exhausts near the peak, or use a roof exhaust fan.
  • Bin vents can become blocked with frost and ice when the fan is operated at temperatures near or below freezing, which may lead to damage to the roof.  Leave the fill and access door open as a pressure relief valve when operating the fan at temperatures near or below freezing.
  • Natural air drying for oil sunflower requires an airflow rate of 0.75 cfm/bu for up to 15% moisture.  The drying should start when outdoor temperatures average about 40 degrees.
       Click here for additional tips.
Production Resource Books on NSA Website
       As producers plan for spring planting, there is helpful information on the NSA website. Click here for the growers section of the website, check out the production resource book for your area.  The books provide guidelines and recommendations on a variety of production practices, pest identification, field selection and more.
NSA High Plains Committee iPad Winners
       Congratulations to the lucky winners of the iPads given away at recent High Plains ag shows.  The NSA High Plains Committee gave away an iPad at two ag shows this winter. The winners were:
  • Cover Your Acres — Luke Smith, Leoti, Kan. 
  • CCTA High Plains No-Till Conference — Curtis Sayles,  Seibert, Colo.    
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