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Sunflower Briefs

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

N.D. Oilseed Council Election Results
        North Dakota sunflower producers Josh Greff, Paul Boesl and Keith Meiers were elected earlier this year to the North Dakota Oilseed Council and the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors. Greff from Regent, N.D., is serving his second three-year term, representing District 7, which includes the North Dakota counties of McKenzie, Dunn, Mercer, Oliver, Stark, Billings, Golden Valley, Slope, Hettinger, Bowman, Adams, Grant, Sioux and Morton.  Boesl from Langdon, N.D., is serving his first three-year term representing District 1, which includes the counties of Pembina, Cavalier, Ramsey, Walsh, Nelson and Grand Forks.  Meiers, from Ross, N.D., is in his first three-year term representing District 6, which includes the counties of Bottineau, Burke, Divide, Renville, McHenry, McLean, Mountrail, Ward and Williams.
        The N.D. Oilseed Council also has appointed Matt Swenson of Walcott (Richland County) to fulfill the remaining term for the Sunflower District 3 position on the NDOC board.  District 3 includes the counties of LaMoure, Dickey, Ransom, Sargent and Richland.  Swenson also now serves on the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors.  Swenson and his wife Stacy produce a variety of crops, including sunflower, corn, soybeans and barley. They also run 130 head of cow-calf pairs and a feedlot with a capacity of 1,000 head.
Hilgeman Re-elected to Minnesota Council
        Greg Hilgeman was re-elected earlier this year to the Minnesota Sunflower Council.  Hilgeman, who farms near Oklee, grows oil sunflower as well as spring wheat, barley, oats, corn and grass seed.  He also is a beef cattle producer.  Hilgeman represents Region 1 on the Minnesota Sunflower Council.
SDSU’s Mohan 2022 Stern Scholarship Winner
Karthika Mohan
Karthika Mohan
Karthika Mohan, a Ph.D (Plant Science) candidate at South Dakota State University working under the guidance of Dr. Febina Mathew, is the 2022 Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship recipient. During her undergraduate studies and master’s program in agriculture, she developed a deep interest in the field of plant pathology. She is pursuing her doctoral studies with an emphasis in sunflower pathology.  Her research focus is on Phomopsis stem canker, one of the most important diseases affecting sunflower production in the United States and worldwide.
        Mohan was recognized with her award during the 2022 NSA?Summer Seminar in late June.
ADM’s Zahradka Appointed to NSA Board of Directors
        Lacey Zahradka has been appointed to the National Sunflower Association Board of Directors, becoming the first woman to ever serve on the board in its 41-year history.
Lacey Zahradka
Lacey Zahradka

      Zahradka grew up on a family farm near Reynolds, ND that produced sunflower, soybeans, corn, wheat and edible beans. Her family also raises cattle.  She graduated from North Dakota State University in 2010 and started her career with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) as a merchandiser for the canola crush plant at Velva, N.D.  Zahradka moved to ADM’s multi-commodity oilseed processing facility at Enderlin, N.D., in 2012, holding various roles, most recently as assistant manager.
        Zahradka comes to the board with a decade of experience in sunflower origination.  As a NSA board member, she is involved in providing direction and setting policies for numerous NSA programs in market development, promotion and research. Lacey and her husband Codie have three children and live in Kindred, N.D.
        (A more extensive profile on Lacey Zahradka can be found on page 14 of the printed issue of The Sunflower.)
FMC Announces Agreement to Acquire BioPhero
        FMC Corporation announced earlier this summer an agreement to acquire BioPhero, a Denmark-based pheromone research and production company. This will add BioPhero’s pheromone-based insect control technology to FMC’s portfolio.
        Pheromones can be used in an integrated pest management program to control the buildup of insect populations in a farmer’s fields by disrupting the insect mating process, decreasing the next generation of the target insect population.  According to FMC, pheromones do not have an impact on the environment, promote biodiversity, and only target specific pests so as to not harm beneficial insects like pollinators. 
        BioPhero has created a yeast fermentation process for manufacturing pheromones at lower costs and with fewer production steps compared to traditional chemical synthesis methods, according to FMC. Lower costs will help expand availability of the pheromones from today’s focus on specialty fruit and vegetable producers to now include the large row-crop market.  FMC expects to launch five new pheromone products over the next three to five years, including products that go beyond insect control, such as fungi and weeds.
CROPLAN, Syngenta Launch New Herbicide Trait
        CROPLAN® and Syngenta have launched a new sunflower herbicide trait called ‘Air.’  CROPLAN’s U.S. Product Manager Mark Torno says the trait provides the ability to tank mix Beyond® and Express® herbicides.  “It will be broad coverage across the Group 2 herbicide families and offers the ability to choose which herbicide system you want to use, based on the weeds that are there or tank mixing them together and getting the best of both worlds.”  Torno says the trait won’t be available on a commercial basis for another year or two.
Sunflower Oil Exports Increase From Prior Year in Oct.-June
        U.S. sunflower oil exports during the first nine months of the current marketing year (through June) stood at 35,372 metric tons (MT), an increase of 8% from the same period a year ago.  Increased demand in Canada has been the leading factor to the growth in exports, with Canada being the top importer of U.S. sunflower oil.  From October 2021 to June 2022, Canada imported 25,419 MT of sunflower oil, compared to 18,104 MT from October 2020 to June 2021, representing a 40% increase for the same time period.
2023 Research Forum Set for Fargo on January 11-12
        The 2023 Sunflower Research Forum, hosted by the National Sunflower Association, is scheduled for January 11 and 12 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, N.D.  It will be the 45th such event.  More details will be available in upcoming issues of The Sunflower as well as on the NSA website.
NSA Website Carries Useful Info for Sunflower Growers
          Questions about growing sunflower?  Visit and click on the “Growers” section.  You’ll find answers to frequently asked questions as well as links to more information about many topics, including approved chemicals, production, marketing and crop insurance.
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