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General view Aug. 8, 2003Well, not much has changed in the past few days.  There aren't nearly as many insects flying around as there were during blooming and with the seeds developing birds will probably start causing problems. 

Head frontThis head is slightly larger than 6 inches which makes it just about the right size.  It appears to be okay, but I don't see many developing seeds in the center.  Let's look at the back. 

Head backThis plant and surrounding plants are still in the R7 stage.  The backside of the head is still green, but turning yellow. 

Head back with damageIt's not very difficult to walk through the field and see this type of head moth damage on the back of the heads.  We'll probably continue to see this type of damage for the next couple weeks.  Don't get me wrong, not every head has these symptoms but you can see them scattered around the field. 

Close up caterpillar feedingWell, I said there weren't as many insects in our field, but we still have some hanging around causing minor damage. These caterpillars are feeding on the leaves near the field's edge.   We saw the same damage earlier in the summer by the same species. These are more painted lady caterpillars (not the same ones we saw before) chewing on the leaves.

Abnormal headNot all sunflower heads have a nice, uniform shape. Sometimes they have been damaged by insects, diseases, or even hail, which results in misshaped heads .  It's difficult to say what exactly happened to cause this type of damage.

Another abnormal headed sunflowerThis is another example of something going wrong with the plant, which results in a misshaped plant. Notice the leaves are compressed into a small area under the misshaped head.