Sunflower harvesting has not stopped despite October's early storm, which has caused problems for producers. Dave Wilson a sunflower producer says the moisture and strong winds knocking down crops led to losses in the area. "In our area here we think we are experiencing close to a twenty percent loss on my own farm here" Wilson said.
A loss that comes after the storm's high winds and snow pushed sunflowers over, making harvesting more difficult. Wilson said "when they are laying down on the ground it's really hard for the header to get underneath sunflower heads to lift them back up into the air where you can actually harvest them."
While plant depth, variety and planting date are all factors in their survival. Ideal weather conditions also play a major role in keeping moisture levels down and keeping sunflowers straight up. Wilson said "we really like the fall because of low wind speeds really help the harvest and sunshine." But this fall is different. "We really haven't seen a warm, drying fall in October, its usually considerably warmer than this, a little more sunshine helps dry them down " said Wilson.
With little sunshine in sight, Wilson only expects the harvest to get worse. He said " the wind starts to blow and the winter sets in, you'll see more and more losses in the field."