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Sunflower Briefs

Friday, August 21, 2020
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Tranby Is Newest Member of NSA Board
Scott Tranby of Cooperstown, N.D., is the newest member of the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors and the North Dakota Oilseed Council. Tranby was elected this spring to represent District 2, which includes the North Dakota counties of Barnes, Cass, Griggs, Steele and Traill. Tranby replaced board member Ben Vig.
Dowdle, Schmidt Re-elected to Minn. Council
Tom Dowdle and Steven Schmidt were re-elected this spring to the Minnesota Sunflower Council. Dowdle, the Region 1 representative, farms near the northwestern Minnesota community of Kennedy. He produces oil sunflower as well as sugarbeets, spring wheat, malting barley, corn and soybeans. Schmidt, the Region 2 representative, grows sunflower, corn and soybeans on his farm near Dumont in west central Minnesota.
2020 NSA Summer Seminar Cancellation
There’s a reason there are no reports in this issue on the annual National Sunflower Association Summer Seminar.  After consultation with leaders within the sunflower industry amid the growing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSA decided to cancel the 2020 event that had been scheduled for late June in Spearfish, S.D. Similarly to numerous other organizations’ summer events, that was felt to be the best and safest course of action after careful consideration of evolving COVID-19 developments. The 2021 NSA Summer Seminar is currently planned to take place at the Radisson Hotel Duluth-Harborview in Duluth, Minn., on June 22-24.

Among the various presentations that had been scheduled for the 2020 Summer Seminar were the NSA Gold Award, posthumously to the late Max Dietrich, and announcement of the annual Curt Stern Scholarship Award, whose recipient this year is Ruchika Ruchika, a Ph.D candidate in plant science at South Dakota State University.  The Sunflower will carry articles about both Dietrich and Ruchika in the October/November issue.
VIpan Kumar

KSU Weed Scientist Earns Early Career Award
Vipan Kumar, an assistant professor of weed science at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays, received one of the top awards for young professionals earlier this year during a joint meeting of the Weed Science Society of America and Western Society of Weed Science.  Each year, the group selects one scientist who has earned the doctoral degree within the previous 10 years.  As its name suggests, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in weed science early in the individual’s career, including innovative approaches that result in learning, the ability to clearly communicate ideas, excellence in research achievements, and more. 

Kumar, a native of northwestern India, began work at the KSU-Hays Agricultural Research Center in 2017. His research includes several weed-related issues, but focuses on herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth and kochia — aggressive weeds that steal water and nutrients in cropping systems.  An article about his work on Palmer in sunflower appeared in the February 2020 issue of The Sunflower.
Brevant Replaces Mycogen Line of Seed 
Corteva Agriscience introduced Brevant™ seeds in the U.S. for sale exclusively through retail, focused in the Midwest and Eastern Corn Belt.  Brevant Seeds was successfully launched in 2018 in nine countries outside the U.S. following the merger between Dow and DuPont. Brevant replaces Mycogen® Seeds as Corteva’s primary U.S. retail-focused brand and will be available for planting in 2021. Corteva will continue to serve U.S. farmers through regional seed brands in the U.S., such as NuTech® and AgVenture®. Pioneer® remains the company’s global flagship seed brand.  
Scoular Expands Manitoba Plant
The Scoular Company’s Canadian affiliate has expanded its bird food manufacturing facility in Winkler, Manitoba. The company relocated its Winnipeg bird food operations to its company-owned bird food manufacturing facility in Winkler. The expansion has created six additional jobs at the Winkler facility. Scoular Canada purchases both confection sunflower and black oil sunflower from farmers. About 90% of Canada’s sunflower crop is grown in Manitoba.
USMCA in Force as of July
After two years of negotiations and another year of wrangling votes on Capitol Hill, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force July 1, replacing the 26-year-old NAFTA agreement and giving market certainty to these markets for producers. Having a USMCA agreement in place is positive news for the sunflower market as it maintains duty-free access for all sunflower products in the Canadian and Mexican markets. Canada is the largest export market for U.S. sunflower oil and sunflower kernel. Mexico is the second largest export market for in-shell seed and kernel.    
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