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Sunflowers look promising heading towards harvest

Manitoba's sunflower crop has had a good year.

Jody Locke is senior originator with Scoular Canada (Winkler).

"Right now the crop is looking really good. The plants are nice and tall, they're standing straight, the heads have filled in. They're losing their pedals now. They're starting to fill in nice. The seeds are starting to fill in. Everything right now looks really good. We're pleased with how the crops are this year and they'll finish off really well."

She notes the growing season has provided a good mix of heat and moisture.

"It's been a really good year for sunflowers this year. We've had moisture when we needed it, sometimes a little bit too much but overall the sunflowers have soaked that up and the heat has been great so the plant has been filling in really nicely."

Lock says there hasn't been any issues with disease or insects that would impact yields.

In terms of acreage, she notes there has been a change this year.

"Black oils are up this year a little bit over last year. Confectionary or striped sunflowers are down a little bit. They're pretty much even, they've just flipped a little bit in terms of which type is planted this year."

Locke said demand for sunflowers remains strong.

"Demand is good. I would say it's not quite what it was during the pandemic. We're still at an increase over the pre-pandemic demand that we had, but it has come down a little bit. With that, the amount of black oils that we have planted right now, I think we'll have a good supply for the market."

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