• Lon Tonneson

    Sunflower: The Extra Crop Option

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 4, 2013

    Dakota farmers have a nice cropping option that most other producers don’t -- sunflower. New crop sunflower prices are competitive with corn and soybeans this year. Native to the Great Plains, sunflower does better than most other crops when it is dry. Best of all, you can grow sunflower under contract and most contracts include Act of God clauses. “Act of God clauses basically mean the producer doesn't have a production risk,” says John Sandbakken, executive…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Sunflower Can Brighten Outlook In Drought

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 4, 2013

    Sunflowers might be a good cropping option, if the spring remains dry. You don’t have to plant until sometime in June in the Northern Plains, which will give you a lot of time to catch some rains this spring. A farmer you might want to meet if you are new to sunflowers, or haven’t planted them in a while, is Tom Young, Onida, S.D. Young is an old hand at sunflower (pardon the pun). His family has been growing sunflowers since the 1970s and he’s the immediate past…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Is Climate Change Behind The Heat?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 2, 2012

    Naturally, everybody’s talking about the weather. It been hot and dry and lots of people wonder why. “Climate change” is the pat answer. However, one of the meteorologists I follow -- John Wheeler, with WDAY-TV in Fargo, N.D., where I live -- says the summer's heat isn’t the direct result of a warming globe. “Actually, the frequency of 100 degree F days in Fargo has been in decline in recent years,” he wrote in a recent column that appears in the Fargo…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Rain On The Plains

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on July 25, 2012

    I went to a drought meeting in Watertown, S.D., the other day and it rained. Which is a good thing to know -- it is going to rain again. A couple others things that I learned by making the trip to the meeting, which was conducted statewide by South Dakota State University Extension Service, were: 1) Being able to estimate yields accurately will be key to making good decisions about how to manage crops the rest of the season. Harvesting low-yielding corn for grain may be more…

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