It’s Time to Start Watching!

As sunflower fields are starting to emerge with the recent warm weather, it is time to start thinking about some of the early season pests that can potentially harm your sunflower fields.

Today’s report will focus on CUTWORMS. Cutworms can cause substantial crop stand loss if left undetected and untreated, not just in sunflowers but many of the other crops. So far there have been no reports into NSAC or MAFRD entomologist, John Gavloski however with the weather starting to warm up, the general feeling is that they may start to show up in the next week or two.

Click here for the full report.

Harper Government Invests in New Market Opportunities for Special Crops

May 12, 2014 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment of more than $230,000 to the Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA) to increase export sales of special crops in markets abroad and increase the competitiveness of the mustard and sunflower seed industries.

This investment will help the CSCA promote Canadian pulses and special crops on trade missions and at international trade shows and advocate for favourable policies that will position Canada as a world leader and supplier of choice. The CSCA will also administer two projects led by the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission and the National Sunflower Association of Canada to help increase global demand for mustard and sunflower seeds by improving variety options and highlighting their health and nutritional properties.

To view the full press release, click here.

Achieving the good plant stand is very important to your end yields. There are some very simple yet very important things to consider before putting your sunflower seed into the ground.

Soil temperature average needs to be at 10C/ 50oF / or higher at planting depth. Planting sunflower seed into cold soils can delay germination or slow emergence, making seedlings more vulnerable to soil borne diseases and reduce ability to handle early stress.

To read the full article click here.

The National Sunflower Association of Canada through the Special Crops Value Chain Roundtable secured funding to conduct a “National Sunflower Research Strategy” to help the NSAC prioritize research needs, to target our limited efforts and resources and to create more focused applications for research funding in the future. This strategy will ensure implementation of such research is coordinated and avoids duplication.

Click here to read the full strategy.


Some crops are more sensitive to herbicide carry-over than others.  Last years herbicide choice may impact this year’s crop planted on that land.  Sunflowers specifically, can be negatively affected by residues of a number of herbicides.  Visual damage can vary from mild to severe symptoms, but yield potential and quality can be affected greatly.  The following recommendations are from the Guide to Field Crop Protection. For more information and to verify risk, please talk to the marketing company listed with the herbicide in question.

Click here to read the full document and review the list of herbicides.

The NSAC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Troy Turner as Agronomist.

Troy Turner will be responsible for the NSAC research portfolio under the guidance of the board of directors, including the Confection Sunflower Variety Development Initiative trials, grower services program and variety development trials. Troy can be reached at, office 204-745-6776 and mobile 204-750-2555.

If you are interested in getting signed up for email update or for the grower services program, contact Troy today!

Click here to see the full News Release.


The Manitoba Sunflower Variety Performance testing is organized and conducted by the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) in co-ordination with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD). The varieties that appear in these trials are hybrids developed by sunflower breeding companies that are actively being pursued or marketed in Manitoba. These varieties may be in the experimental stage or registered under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Canada.

In 2013, the NSAC conducted the variety trials in four locations around the province: Elm Creek, Minto, Melita and Beausejour. Unfortunately, the Melita confectionary trial site was lost due to unfavourable weather and the onset of high disease pressure. The NSAC appreciates the hard work and dedication from the contractors who plant, maintain and harvest the plots. A further thank-you to the MAFRD Oilseed specialist, Anastasia Kubinec who compiled the data for the trials and Legumex Walker – Keystone Grain for providing seed sizing services.

Contents of these publications can only be reproduced with the permission of NSAC.

Click here for the Full data package.

This Winter 2013 issue features the 2013 MB Sunflower Variety Trial data, Sunflower CSFG 2013 coverMarket Outlook, Confection Sunflower Variety Development Initiative project update, Year in Review on Sunflower Disease in 2013 and an article on New Combined Technology for Promoting Sunflower Health and Productivity.

Read Magazine

“Warmer weather this past week, has aided in sunflower development after cool conditions for most of July. Early planted fields are at the R-6 stage, where flowering is complete and ray flowers are wilting.”

Click here to read the full report.


Prepared by Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRI Oilseed Crop Specialist

Sclerotinia Head Rot in sunflowers costs growers money.  It will reduce yields due to small and diseased seeds as well as seeds falling on the ground before the combine can pick them up.  It also reduces the quality of the saleable product leading to price reductions at the delivery point.

Fungicides are registered for the suppression of Head Rot in sunflowers just like products are available for suppressing sclerotinia in canola.

Application timing is R5.1 with a second application 7 to 14 days after the first application if environmental conditions and pressure remains high.  

Click here to view the stages of sunflower development.

With the weather lately being more conducive to the development of sclerotinia, you may want to speak with your retail regarding the availability of a fungicide for your cropping needs.  The fungicide products that are registered for use in sunflower to control Sclerotinia Head Rot are the same ones registered for use in canola, pulses and other crops.