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Sunflowers About 7 Days Behind

Rust and insects are beginning to show up in North Dakota.

The National Sunflower Association is reporting that sunflowers, like most other crops, are about seven days behind average in development.

But nationally, 58% of the crop is in good to excellent condition according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Rust has been found in sunflowers in north central ND, according to the NSA weekly update. Most reports so far indicate low levels of rust that are not yet at economic levels. However, there are some hot spots where spraying will begin soon.

Two fungicides are presently registered for sunflower rust -- Headline and Quadris. There is some concern about supply of these fungicides. In the event a serious rust out break occurs, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is prepared to declare a Crises Exemption label for another fungicide, according to the NSA.

Janet Knodel, NDSU Extension entomologist, has issued an alert about the sunflower bud moth. Larvae from the moth have been found in sunflower buds. Usually, the insect isn't a problem, but because the crop is later than normal some damage is likely. However, spraying will be a waste of time and money. The larvae are inside the plants and beyond the reach of insecticides, she says.

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