2017 National Sunflower Association Sunflower Survey Back »

Written collaboratively by Ruth Beck, Amanda Bachmann, Adam Varenhorst, Patrick Wagner, Chris Graham, and Febina Mathew.


Sunflower fields look variable across South Dakota this year. This is an indication of the challenging growing conditions South Dakota crop producers experienced in 2017.

This fall numerous volunteers from private industry and SDSU Extension will hit sunflower fields across South Dakota to participate in the biannual sunflower survey. Every other year volunteers survey one field out of every 10,000 acres of sunflowers being grown in every sunflower producing state and some Canadian provinces.

Survey Goals

Surveyors make yield estimates, document management trends, and monitor fields for the presence of diseases, insects, and weeds. The information collected is compiled by the National Sunflower Association. The ultimate goal of the survey is to collect information that can be used by producers, industry, extension and researchers to develop programs and genetics that will keep sunflower production viable and profitable in SD and other sunflower producing areas.

Sunflowers are a valuable contributor to South Dakota’s economy. Information from this survey will help sunflower producers anticipate and plan for potential problems. A total of 56 sunflower fields will be surveyed, primarily in Central and Western South Dakota. This represents the 594,000 acres of sunflowers being grown in South Dakota in 2017.

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