Sunflowers a bright spot in dry conditions

A central Kansas farmer says sunflowers have been a bright spot in the multi-year drought.

Cameron Peirce from Hutchinson says the crop has a good root system and did well last year.

“In 2022, we harvested sunflowers next to fields where farmers grew sorghum that didn’t do so well. We felt good about getting income on acres that would have otherwise been un-harvestable.”

Peirce tells Brownfield he planted sunflowers in the last week and he will irrigate the crop. More will be planted later in the season and most of the sunflowers he grows are used to produce birdseed.

“We are growing confection sunflowers for the first time this year as well.”

He says drought remains an issue in Kansas, but the 1.5 inches of rain received in the last week is welcome and should allow farmers to resume planting.

“It’s not like the moisture evaporated, but you can’t tell it rained. The rain on Friday was a nice one.”

Peirce grows other crops including winter wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum and cotton.

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