Sunflowers in North Dakota?
Mar 16, 2011
Mark Rohrich, known as @sunflowerfarmer on Twitter, is a farmer from North Dakota. Mark’s family has been farming sunflowers on their farm for three generations. Together with his dad and brother, the Rohrich’s sustainably grow New Sun oil sunflowers using no til farming practices.
Sunflowers are planted in late May or early June and they are harvested between October and December. The crop is harvested with a combine like other seeds and grains, but the combine must be equipped with an all crop or pan header. This cuts off the head of the sunflower and leaves the rest behind. The stalks and other materials expelled from the combine are left in the field, unplowed, to be used as organic matter. In fact, the Rohrich’s have been using no til practices on their farm for 14 years, being some of the earliest adapters of the movement toward no til. Once the sunflowers bloom yellow can be seen for miles, Mark said that one of the prettiest sights in the world are the "seas of yellow" that can be seen while the crop is in the ground.
North Dakota is the number one sunflower producing state in the country. They also lead the country in durum, flax, dry beans, canola, barley, honey and compete with Kansas for the number one wheat spot. I think it is also interesting to note that there are more cattle in North Dakota than people. I think it is safe to say that North Dakota is a rural and agriculturally focused state.
Read this brochure
to find out more about this high producing state.