Sunflower Breeding Initiative Sought for Domestic Growers

Sunflower Breeding Initiative Sought for Domestic Growers

Lorrie Boyer
Lorrie Boyer
National Sunflower Association Executive Director, John Sandbakken says the association is seeking a sunflower breeding initiative.

“A lot of the companies that develop hybrid seed are overseas and United States is a smaller market. Obviously, the two huge markets are Russia and Ukraine. And so what they're doing is they're developing varieties that really are fitting it to those climates and not as much as it would be in the North American climate. So what we would like to see is to expand the research that's being done at Agricultural Research Service in both in the Fargo location and also in Fort Collins, and have them develop varieties that would work for our growers here in the United States.”

He explains how research could be done to benefit the domestic sunflower industry.

“You know, what they could do is develop those varieties to be pre-commercial, and they would pass those off to the hybrid seed companies to develop, you know, the finished product. For us

research is critical.”

As Sandbakken explains how important it is for the sunflower industry.

“When you look at other countries in the world, they're getting stronger every single day. And the thing is to compete, you obviously have to produce more bushels or to have a higher quality product. And you know, for us that just critical I mean, everybody is feeling the pressure here in the US, you know, to develop better varieties more disease resistant, more insect resistant, different things like that, and so it's the only way you stay ahead.”

He says that they would like funding to get the sunflower breeding initiative started through the upcoming appropriations bill and then get the additional needed funding from the next farm bill.

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