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Sunflower Briefs

Thursday, March 25, 2021
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

June 2021 NSA?Summer Seminar Canceled
        After consultation with leaders within the sunflower industry amid the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Sunflower Association has decided to cancel its 2021 Summer Seminar, which had been scheduled for latter June in Duluth, Minn.  “With the ongoing global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and our promise to deliver an experience expected of the Summer Seminar, continuing to plan for the event was simply no longer feasible,” noted John Sandbakken, NSA executive director.  “The NSA decided to make this decision now to allow time for attendees to make necessary travel and planning adjustments.”
         Planning for the 2022 NSA Summer Seminar is already underway.  It is scheduled for June 28-30, 2022, at the Canad Inn/Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
NDSU ‘Sunflower Production Guide’ Updated
        North Dakota State University Extension Bulletin A1995, the Sunflower Production Guide, has been updated and is now available.  This NDSU publication has long been called the ‘sunflower bible’ since it was first published in 1975.  More-recent editions were published in 1978, 1985, 1994 and 2007, respectively. 
        The new 178-page publication is directed primarily toward sunflower production in the Northern Great Plains of the United States; however, it is relevant to other areas as well.
        The new Sunflower Production Guide was compiled and edited by NDSU agronomists Hans Kandel, Greg Endres and Ryan Buetow.  Numerous other university and industry sources also contributed.  The guide covers all phases of sunflower production and includes color photos of sunflower insects and disease to aid with identification and management of those pests.
        The National Sunflower Association will provide one complimentary copy to sunflower growers.  To obtain your complimentary copy, email:  Please include your name and complete mailing address.  The Sunflower Production Guide also is available for sale from the NSA’s online catalog for $15 per copy, including shipping.  Go to to order.

Bob Majkrzak
Bob Majkrzak
Majkrzak Named 2021 Gold Award Honoree
        Robert (Bob) Majkrzak has been named the 2021 NSA Gold Award winner.  Majkrzak retired from Red River Commodities in 2019 after 35 years with the organization.  He served as its president and CEO for 30 years.
        Majkrzak grew the company from one operation to several divisions, including Processing, Wildlife, SunGold Foods, SunButter and Global Ingredients, with multiple processing locations in the U.S. and customers throughout the world.  He also devoted much of his career to the sunflower industry, serving on the NSA Board of Directors and as chairman of the NSA Confection Promotion Committee.  He was a leader on several key issues facing the sunflower industry, including adoption of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, Blair House Agreement, international trade,  research and several farm bills.
        Due to cancelation of the 2021 Summer Seminar, Majkrzak will receive the award at the 2022 event in Grand Forks, N.D.
NSA Invites Stern Scholarship Applications
        The National Sunflower Association is seeking applicants for the Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship, established in tribute to the dedicated work of the late Curtis Stern, an industry advocate and former NSA board member.  Preference will be given to students who are in their last two years of undergraduate studies or in graduate level studies and have maintained at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0=A scale.  Application deadline is April 1, 2021.  A total of $5,000 is available for the scholarship this year.  Applications can be submitted online.  Visit to learn more.  Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with any questions.
QLA Application Deadline Extended by USDA
        The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program.  The extension was made due to recent winter storms and program rules clarifications.
        This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.  It assists producers whose eligible crops suffered quality losses due to qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity or wildfires.

‘Daily Market News’ Adds Colorado Mills Bids
        High-oleic nearby and new-crop bids from the Colorado Mills crush plant in Lamar, Colo., are now be available on the National Sunflower Association’s website.  Go to and click on ‘Daily Market News.’
Final Reminder: Sunflower Bird Damage Survey
   qr code     Researchers at North Dakota State University want to hear from sunflower producers nationwide per the “Bird Damage to Sunflower Crops” survey — regardless of whether bird damage has been experienced.  “Your responses will help us to understand the nature of the issue, economic impacts and efficacy of current management techniques,” says NDSU graduate student and project researcher Mallory White.  “We intend to use your feedback to direct future research addressing bird damage and to improve sunflower production.  The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete.  If you have already received a survey in the mail, please fill it out and return it in the prepaid envelope.”

        For growers who have not received the survey, White asks they follow this link or the above QR code to fill out the online version:
Spring Grain Storage Maintenance 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.
        •  The 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. 
        Visit ‘Drying & Storing Sunflowers’ ( for more tips.
South Dakota Pest Management Guides
        South Dakota State University Extension has published the 2021 South Dakota Pest Management Guides.  Available for free on the SDSU Extension website, the guides provide updated recommendations for controlling weeds, insects and diseases in sunflower.  In addition, the South Dakota Pest Management Guides provide a comprehensive index of what pesticides are labeled for South Dakota fields.
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