Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Aug 10 2020
Crop Progress
North Dakota's sunflower crop is 78% blooming and 73% of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Harvest continues in Texas.
Crop Progress - Monday, August 10, 2020
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Blooming 78 54 55 77
Petals Dry 2 --- --- ---
Harvested NA 35 39 29
Crop Conditions - Monday, August 10, 2020
State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 0 2 25 65 8
Minnesota 2 4 21 68 5
Colorado 5 29 53 12 1
Keep Scouting for Insects
As sunflower fields begin to bloom, adults of red sunflower seed weevil (RSSW) will be emerging and will fly to the nearest flowering sunflowers. Trap catches for banded sunflower moth (BSM) and Arthuri sunflower moths (SM) have increased in the last week and are at economic thresholds for control in some locations. Severe infestations of RSSW and moths can be very damaging to the sunflower head and result in seed loss. Once the decision to treat has been made, it is critical to time the spray application correctly to get effective management of all sunflower head insects including RSSW, BSM, SM, and Lygus bug. The best sunflower plant stage to treat is when the majority of plants are in the R5.1 growth stage. To read more about scouting for insects and the best treatments, click here. And to see the insecticides registered in sunflower, click here.
Sunflower Rust Update
Sunflower rust is being found in North Dakota and growers are encouraged to scout for the disease. Free moisture (dews, fog, etc.) and moderate to warm temperatures favor disease development. Sunflower rust is visible as small cinnamon-brown pustules filled with dusty spores. Rust primarily occurs on leaves, but can appear on petioles, stem, and bracts of heavily infected plants. If 1% rust severity is identified on the upper four fully expanded leaves at or before bloom (R5 growth stages), a fungicide application is warranted. Fungicide applications after bloom are not recommended. For disease severity diagrams and additional information on sunflower rust, please click here
After a somewhat slow start, 2020 sunflower crop progress has caught up to the five-year average in North Dakota and Minnesota. Seventy-three percent of the sunflower crop earned good to excellent ratings as of this week, down 1 percent from the previous week. It is a different story in Colorado where drought is affecting crop conditions and most of the crop is in fair condition according to USDA. Birdfood prices took a breather after the recent surge and finished the week unchanged. Birdfood bids are trading at $28.00-$30.00 in South Dakota. North Dakota birdfood prices were trading for as much as $27.50 in some locations. Commodity traders are closely watching the decline in the U.S. dollar which has dropped to its lowest level in almost two years against a basket of major currencies and is likely to weaken further. This is positive news for exports making U.S. agriculture products more competitive on the world market. Traders are also getting into position for USDA’s August crop reports. August 12th will be a huge day for commodity markets as USDA will release its latest supply and demand reports and first report of FSA certified acres. The FSA figures will be compared to the USDA June acreage report and will give the market a better idea of what got planted this year. USDA reports and weather conditions will guide traders in the coming weeks.
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