Recent Snow Could Impact Sunflower Harvest

News

HANNOVER — With the start of the sunflower harvest about two weeks away many farmers are gearing up for the start of that harvest, but with some locations like Oliver County receiving over a foot of snow, Mother Nature may have thrown a wrinkle in those plans.

They’re bright and colorful most of the year, but the vibrant yellows and greens have been replaced with a dull brown, and the flowers are now drooping and sagging — a sad sign that winter is near.

But this year, the harvest proves to be a little more challenging thanks to the blizzard we had last week.

Lonnie Henke has 250 acres of sunflowers near Hannover in Oliver County, and they’ve all been impacted by the storm. Some are buried under 4-foot drifts while others were toppled under the weight of the heavy wet snow.

“They’re almost ready to harvest, they’re a little green yet, we’ll wait until the temperature drops really low so we can combine them a little easier, right we’ll be happy with what we get in the condition they’re in, if they would have gotten knocked down. Combining sunflowers is a nightmare,” said Henke.

He told KX News the sunflower harvest is especially important this year because of the poor quality of the wheat. What he didn’t make in wheat profits he hopes to make up with sunflowers.

“The wheat crop yielded well, but the quality was so low in the spring wheat. It’s going to be a wash, so we were hoping that the row crows make up the difference and we get a little profit out of them,” said Henke

But that won’t be easy with all this snow, and he estimates around 10 percent of these sunflowers are now on the ground.

And it’s just not bad for him, KX News sat down with John Sandbakken who heads the National Sunflower Association and he said harvest conditions are poor all across the state.

“We haven’t had a situation like this in many years where we’ve had record amounts of snow in the month of October. Hopefully, it’s going to warm up here and we’re gonna see a good melt and then hopefully the ground will freeze up so they can get a combine out there,” said Sanbakken.

And for Henke it’s not just sunflowers, his soybeans are in need of harvesting before they become buried, and a large section of his corn is not only dealing with mold issues but with high snowdrifts.

KX News saw some ears poking out of the snow like groundhogs, checking if spring has arrived.

Sandbakken said sunflowers have been behind schedule all year by around seven to 10 days, but whatever happens, this year won’t come close to the summer of 2004 which was one of the worst sunflowers years ever.

Warmer temperatures are expected later in the week which should aid in melting some of that snow.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/19

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader 11/19"

Amber's Tuesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Tuesday Morning One Minute Forecast 11/19"

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Thumbnail for the video titled "Antibiotic Awareness Week"

Tuesday: Increasing clouds ahead of overnight snow

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday: Increasing clouds ahead of overnight snow"

Surrey Mustangs Girls Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Surrey Mustangs Girls Basketball"

DSU vs U-Mary

Thumbnail for the video titled "DSU vs U-Mary"

Mandan_Volleyball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mandan_Volleyball"

Dickinson Volleyball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dickinson Volleyball"

HS Wrestling

Thumbnail for the video titled "HS Wrestling"

Harvey Growth

Thumbnail for the video titled "Harvey Growth"

DOT Report

Thumbnail for the video titled "DOT Report"

Peer Support

Thumbnail for the video titled "Peer Support"

Monday, November 18th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday, November 18th, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Giving Tree

Thumbnail for the video titled "Giving Tree"

Construction Confusion

Thumbnail for the video titled "Construction Confusion"

Airmed Memorial

Thumbnail for the video titled "Airmed Memorial"

YHF

Thumbnail for the video titled "YHF"

Seasonal Workers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Seasonal Workers"

Burlington Bridge

Thumbnail for the video titled "Burlington Bridge"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/18

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 11/18"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge