NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Sunflower seeding started out late this year due to the wet spring in North Dakota.

However, with the hot and dry conditions over the last couple of months, the crop has caught up.

The peak bloom of sunflowers can vary based on the amount of heat absorbed that season.

So this year, the peak bloom was in mid-August. Harvest for sunflowers usually begins at the beginning of October, so this year things are looking to be on schedule.

There has been a couple of issues with the crop and bugs this year, but it has easily been controlled by producers.

Birds don’t become an issue until later in the fall, but the best thing to prevent pests would be to harvest as soon as possible.

“I think overall sunflowers has been a great crop for a lot of producers in the last couple of years and we had drought conditions, but sunflowers performed really well. And this year it looks like it’s going to perform well again,” said John Sandbakken, the executive director of the National Sunflower Association.

This year, there have been around 750,000 acres of sunflowers planted in our state.

Which will make North Dakota number one for the most acres of sunflowers in the United States this year.