Sunflower harvest is moving along in southern Manitoba.

"Progress depends on which area," says Kristin Podolsky of the National Sunflower Association of Canada. "Harvest has been underway around Winnipeg since late-September. I've also heard reports of growers going around Altona and Treherne areas, so the central area harvest is going pretty well. Out in the west, I think we're still a couple weeks away (in some areas.)"

Manitoba Agriculture reports yields ranging from  under 1000 pounds per acre up to around 2000 pounds per acre in a few cases.

Podolsky says growers are noticing reduced yields as a result of head and stem rots.

Meanwhile, sunflower growers could soon have crop insurance coverage on blackbird damage. "We're making quite a bit of progress in that aspect," says Podolsky. "Crop Insurance wants to get an idea of just how bad the losses are, so we've developed a survey that growers can do themselves."

She says surveys completed so far show that losses caused by birds can range from 0 to over 20 percent. She asks growers who are willing to complete the survey to contact the NSAC office at 745-6776.

MASC says a minimum of 10 participants are needed for the survey.

~ Friday, October 15, 2010  ~