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General view July 23, 2003 Our field continues its blooming.  The heads in the foreground are nearly finished blooming, while heads further back and on the sides are at about the R5.7 to R5.8 stages.  We had a small rain shower yesterday. It rained 0.48 inches.  Not bad, but we could use some more. 

Stages R5.7 to R5.9 sunflowersWe've been seeing heads for about six days now, so these next few photographs can be considered a review.  Would you agree these two heads have completed about 80 to 90 percent of their flowering?  If so, then they are in the R5.8 to R5.9 stages. 

Stages R5.9 to R6 sunflowersThese two heads are in the R5.9 to early R6 stage.  On the right, the R6 plant's ray flowers haven't started wilting yet, but the center is  completing flowering today. So, technically we may be off a day or so by calling it an R6 plant. 

R6 stage sunflowerThis plant would be considered in the R6 stage because it has completed blooming and the petals are starting to wilt. 


Bee on sunflower headWe still have some pollinators still active on late blooming heads. This bee is loaded down with pollen. 


Head mothWell, I knew it couldn't last forever.  This little moth is one of the most notorious insects in a sunflower field. This is the sunflower head moth and it is quite destructive.  It lays eggs in the head, the eggs hatch and the larvae burrow in the head causing all sorts of damage.  I don't think we have too many moths flying in our field, but we need to be sure.  We'll set some traps tomorrow.