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Texas sunflower harvest begins; seeds hauled to North DakotaTexas sunflower harvest begins; seeds hauled to North Dakota

A young producer discusses the 2020 production year and a contract with CHS that leads to David Seeds.

Shelley E. Huguley

September 29, 2020

Northwest of Lubbock, Texas, near Spade -- population 75 -- nine area producers contract with CHS to produce confectionary sunflower seeds. Once harvested, CHS will haul the seeds over 1,000 miles to North Dakota to David Seeds.

Grower Troy McGann discusses the production year, including the drought and their strategy to stagger and stretch their limited water; a one-of-a-kind header used to harvest the seeds; and how a January blessing overshadows a year marked by a pandemic and its fallout.

Watch as McGann, along with his grandfather Gordon Graves and his uncle and combine operator, Clay Graves, harvest Mark Matthew's sunflower crop. Driving a truck for Matthews is Casey Nickelson. Enjoy the harvest!

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About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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