News & Events

New Nitrogen recommendations for sunflowers?

Posted: April 25, 2016

Well it looks like spring has sprung! Fertility is top of mind as planting is in the near future, specifically regarding nitrogen. New research out of NDSU is suggesting alternative recommendations for ND farmers. However, this research has not been duplicated in Manitoba and at this point in time cannot be confirmed.

The Sunflower Nitrogen Calculator for North Dakota which incorporates the new N and P recommendations from NDSU are based on general productivity history and not a yield prediction model. N and P recommendations are based on both documented yield responses to each and economic analysis.

The NSAC is currently reviewing the calculator to ensure that it is a suitable tool for Canadian growers.  The current fertility recommendation for Manitoba sunflower growers base on MAFRD is 145 lb N/ac for a 2500 yield goal. 

*NEED GROWER COOPERATORS. NSAC is looking for grower cooperators to test the NDSU calculator in Manitoba to validate the recommendations. Growers will be asked to do +/- 30 lbs of nitrogen and replicate it 3 times.  If you are interested in participating contact Troy Turner at (204) 750-2555.*

Nobody likes a dirty field, especially Sunflowers!

Posted: March 31, 2016

Weeds have always and still can be a major production issue in sunflowers. This is due to the fact that sunflower plant populations are purposely very low to achieve larger seed size. This allows for ample sunlight to get to the ground during the early season. Weeds then can thrive if not taken care of, resulting in poor crop performance, yield loss, and the potential to harbor disease that can negatively affect a sunflower crop.  The good news is that sunflowers now have new herbicide options available!

With the development of herbicide tolerant varieties, there are now two herbicide options for growers. Used along side a good pre-emerge product, excellent weed control results can be achieved. Always remember to consult the label or company representative on all products before using.

Registered herbicides for sunflowers.

IMG_0269 (2)


NSAC Elects New Executive

Posted: March 10, 2016

CARMAN, MB, March 10, 2016 – The National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) held their re-organizational meeting and elected a new executive for the 2016/17 year:

President – Mark McDonald, Virden, MB
Vice-President – Aaron Elskamp, Woodlands, MB
2nd Vice-President – Devin Toews, MacGregor, MB
Past President – Gregg Fotheringham, Reston, MB

Making the Grade for Sunflowers

Posted: March 4, 2016

Did you miss CropConnect?

NSAC agronomist Troy Turner, along with Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD and Fred Parnow, NuSeed presented on 5 management practices for growers to “Make the Grade for Sunflowers”.

There are 5 management practices that sunflower growers can apply to achieve the best grade:

  • Ideal Planting Time
  • Plant Populations
  • Pest Management
  • Desiccation
  • Harvest Timing, Do Not Delay!

Click here to read the full article.

NSAC Board of Director Election RESULTS

Posted: March 4, 2016

NSAC Election Results

At the February 10, 2016 board meeting, Blair Woods of Elgin, MB was re-elected and Gilbert Sabourin or St.Jean, MB were elected for the 2016-2020 NSAC board of directors.

NSAC will hold our re-organization meeting on March 10th

Click here to see the 2015 Audited Financial Statements

MB Sunflower Variety Performance Trial Data RESULTS

Posted: November 26, 2015

The Manitoba Variety Performance trials are coordinated by the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) in conjunction with Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Development. This data set serves as a tool to provide growers with non-bias performance data on varieties that are registered or are being considered for registration by the seed company.

In 2015, the NSAC established five sunflower variety performance sites in various sunflower growing areas across the province of Manitoba. Unfortunately, two sites were lost this year; Beausejour to high moisture and Carberry due to contractor errors at planting. The remaining sites were Elm Creek, Holland and Pierson.

Click here to see the results.

Desiccation: Why, When and What Products to Use

Posted: September 3, 2015

Why should I consider desiccating my sunflowers?
Desiccation timingNatural desiccation can be slow and uneven. Poor weather can cause reduced quality and yield through stem breakage, shattering and predation by blackbirds. To speed up the natural desiccation process, it may be worthwhile to consider the use of a chemical desiccation. Chemical desiccants are generally typical herbicides that have achieved special registration to be used as a harvest aid.

What is the right stage to desiccate at?
Timing of desiccation is critical as application prior to physiological maturity can result in decreased quality, seed size and test weight. Sunflowers are physiologically mature at the stage R-9. At this stage, the seeds have reached maximum size and bushel weight. Visually, this is when the back of the head is yellow and the bracts are brown and seed moisture is between 30-35%.

The bract tip turns brown at 40-50%. At this stage, seed moisture is too high and the plant has not reached physiological maturity. The broadest part of the bract should be turning brown. It is at this stage that the seeds are between 30-35% moisture and
desiccation can be performed.

Click here to read the full bulletin.


Sunflowers, sclerotinia and fungicides

Posted: July 31, 2015

Sclerotinia can be a devastating disease and in sunflower it is highly dependent on weather conditions.  Sclerotinia Head Rot infection is dependent on the ascospore infection.

What causes sclerotinia head rot?
Wet soil conditions over a period of 10 to 14 days stimulate the sclerotia dropped from a previous crop to germinate creating tiny mushrooms. These mushrooms produce apothecia or tiny spores which can be wind-blown to nearby fields.

The spores need dew or rain and dead or senescing plant tissue such as dead florets to germinate and infect. Wet and cloudy conditions are necessary for the disease advancement.

Like canola, there is a specific application window recommended for sclerotinia fungicide control.

Click here to read: Sunflowers, sclerotinia and fungicides 

*REMEMBER: Sunflower seeds are an edible product and low quality will affect the marketability of your product.  Prevention to sclerotinia is KEY!