Colorado’s wilting sunflower production

Many of Colorado’s farmers have cut back on planting sunflowers. Last year Colorado’s sunflower production dropped to a fraction of its high in 1999. Unlike many other crops, sunflowers aren’t genetically modified in Colorado and they’ve become less economically viable. Some growers are increasingly choosing to plant higher-yeilding, genetically-modified versions of wheat and corn. Ron Meyer is a Colorado State University Extension agronomist in Burlington, Colo. He says it’s tough to stay competitive. “The sunflower crop has to compete with wheat and corn economically,” Meyer says. “When wheat and corn prices are high, it causes many producers to shift acres over to those crops.” This spring, Colorado’s sunflower growers will be asked if they want to increase the fee they pay for research and development, called an assessment. Additional research and development could help reverse the trend of decreasing sunflower production by expanding yields, for example.

Listen to Colorado’s wilting sunflower production reported and produced by Shanna Lewis for Colorado Matters.

This entry was posted in Colorado Matters, Colorado Public Radio, Land Use, Radio, Rural Issues and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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