Cold weather could cripple sunflowers

Local News

While corn and other crops will feel the chill of this recent cold snap, sunflowers are being hit especially hard.

Sunflowers are still maturing and need several more weeks of development before they should be harvested.

They aren’t typically ready until the head becomes completely brown in color, but as you can see, the sunflowers we shot Tuesday are still quite green.

North Dakota is second in the country in sunflower production and this cold snap could take a bite out of that production.

The National Sunflower Association estimates that up to 15 percent of the state’s crop could be damaged by a hard freeze.

“Where there’s gonna be some damage at this point in the plant development, you’d have to be a 25 degrees or lower is where you’re gonna see it. That’s where you’re gonna see some damage, but if you’re above that they’ll be some minor damage and if it’s 28 degrees, to 32 degrees you’re probably not gonna notice any kind of damage,” said John Sandbakken with the National Sunflower Association.

He adds while this is bad, it’s nothing compared to 2004 when a late August frost decimated North Dakota’s sunflower crops.

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