Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Apr 06 2020
2020 NSA Summer Seminar canceled
After thoughtful consultation with leaders within the sunflower industry amid the growing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Sunflower Association (NSA) has decided to cancel the 2020 Summer Seminar that would have been held in Spearfish, SD. This was felt to be the best and safest course of action after careful consideration of evolving COVID-19 pandemic developments. The NSA decided to make this decision now to allow time for attendees to make necessary travel and planning adjustments. We look forward to seeing you at the next Summer Seminar that will be held at the Radisson Hotel Duluth-Harborview on June 22-24, 2021 in Duluth, Minnesota.
Deadline for NSA Scholarship extended
The deadline to apply for the National Sunflower Association’s Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship has been extended to May 1. 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 May 1, 2020. A total of $5,000 is available for the scholarship this year. Applications can be submitted online. Click here to learn more. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with any questions.
Reducing blackbird damage
As producers gear up for planting, now is a good time to think about blackbirds and reducing the damage they could cause to this year’s sunflower crop. USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services recommends not planting sunflower in close proximity to large cattail sloughs (blackbird roosts) if at all possible. If you do plant close to cattails, consider spraying cattails with glyphosate in accordance with the label, or mowing cattails if possible. Something else to consider is developing roads or trails in larger fields (quarter or more) to allow access to the middle of fields. Birds always go to the center of the field where you can’t reach them. Trails or roads allow you many more locations and better accessibility to move blackbirds out of the field and reduce losses. Click here for more tips to reduce blackbird damage.
USDA released its first estimate of 2020 planted acres. Sunflower growers intend to plant 1.56 million acres in 2020, up 15 percent from 2019. Compared with last year, growers in seven of the eight major sunflower producing states expect an increase in sunflower acreage this year. If realized, this will be the highest planted area for the US since 2016. The state expecting the largest increase from last year is South Dakota, where planted area is expected to increase 87,000 acres compared with last year. Area intended for oil type varieties, at 1.36 million acres, is up 13 percent from 2019. The increase in oil type acres was slightly lower than industry expectations. Area intended for non-oil varieties, estimated at 202,000 acres, is up 32 percent from last year and is in line with most traders’ thoughts. Corn planted area for all purposes in 2020 is estimated at 97 million acres, up 8 percent or 7.3 million acres from last year. The trade’s expectation was 94.32 million. Soybean planted area for 2020 is estimated at 83.5 million acres, up 10 percent from last year. USDA pegged 2020 spring wheat acres at 12.6 million compared with the trade’s expectation of 13 million. The March acreage and grain stocks reports will guide the market as we head into the planting season. It will also give farmers a look at what others are thinking of planting this year and may adjust their plans.
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