Shallow roots potential concern for Manitoba sunflowers

Winnipeg, July 28 (CNS Canada) – Sunflower crops in Manitoba are generally in good shape for this time of year, but excess moisture in key growing areas has kept root systems shallow, which could create problems later in the season, says an industry participant.

It’s still relatively early for sunflowers, with diseases usually not setting in until late-August or early-September, said Ben Friesen, purchasing manager with Scoular in Winkler.

“The fields look good, but they have pretty shallow roots,” said Friesen, adding that heavy winds could do damage if they hit the crops at the wrong time.

Sunflower seeded area in Manitoba is down on the year, with Statistics Canada reporting 70,000 acres, down from 100,000 acres last year.

The smaller acreage has not helped prices though.

Friesen noted that Argentina has a good crop and “as long as they are shipping product out, it will hold pricing at a level that we have to compete with.”

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