It looks like farmers will be seeing more green from this season’s crop of sunflowers.
Officials say the early dry weather through much of the spring and early summer was making them nervous, but their worries are gone now.
In an average year, North Dakota has between 600,000 and 650,000 acres of sunflowers in the ground, usually ranked first or second in the country.
But last year’s struggles left many unknowns until some much-needed rain started falling about six weeks ago.
Now, 75% of North Dakota’s sunflowers are considered good or excellent.
“Anytime you have dry topsoil, you want to make sure the seeds germinate, and that was one of the issues we were really concerned about, but that rain we got, a little bit here and there in June was enough to get it up and July really helped it out, it was very timely and one of those million-dollar rains that we really needed,” said John Sandbakken with the National Sunflower Association.
In an average year North Dakota’s sunflower crop is valued at around $162 million.
Harvest usually takes place in early October.
Sightseeing for sunflowers? CLICK HERE to use the interactive tool from ND Tourism Division.