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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower Improvement Research » Research » Research Project #441935

Research Project: Extending the USDA Sunflower Breeding Program to Address Producer Outcomes.

Location: Sunflower Improvement Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-047-011-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 30, 2025

a. Expand evaluation of sunflower testcross hybrids to central South Dakota and continue double-crop trials in Kansas. b. Ensure continuity of the line development program for early and mid-maturity sunflower parental lines c. Bring genomics-assisted methods to both the early and mid-maturity programs.

The USDA sunflower breeding program already has two large yield trial sites for evaluation of new parental line materials from our program. One is in Moorhead, MN, on a tile drained, loam soil that grows excellent sunflower and Phomopsis. Another major site (for our mid-maturity hybrids only) is in Bismarck, ND. This site provided us with excellent drought data for our hybrids this year, but is more variable than our Moorhead site, in general, because of its western location. We have been operating a third site with NSA support in south central Kansas, and we wish to continue to have plots at that site as it provides excellent data on behavior of our hybrids in harsh planting conditions in dryland after winter wheat. This is an important niche that sunflower could fill, and would increase grower numbers and supply of oilseed and birdfood sunflower. Additionally, we would like to have evaluation in central SD as it is currently an important center of sunflower production for which we are not gathering data currently. Like Bismarck, this site would only include mid-maturity hybrids. Each site will test experimental materials, as well as hybrid specific combining ability tests on recent and pending releases. The latter is important to expedite the production of new hybrids by seed companies.