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General view July 25, 2003Our field is still blooming, but it's winding down.  Most heads in the foreground have reached R6. Is it my imagination, but the plants appear to be getting shorter? 

R6 sunflower drooping headsThese R6 heads are drooping or dipping toward the ground. Why do you suppose that's the case?  If you think about it, the heads are drooping because they are getting heavier as the seeds are developing. 

R6 sunflowerThis is another R6 plant.


R6 sunflower cross sectionThis is a cross section of the same head. Seed can be seen all across the head. 

R6 stage sunflower cross sectionObviously, the seed are larger on the outer edges, but we can find more seed in the center now than we could in the recent past. 

Phermone trapThis is one of the traps that was set out to see if we had a sunflower head moth problem. If you will remember, two days ago we found a head moth and I was worried to what level of infestation was in our field.  This will help us determine the number of moths we have. 

Insects in phermone trapLooking inside the trap, I can see two head moths in the front half of the trap and there are two more that the camera can't see.  The treatable threshold is 4 head moths captured in a 24 hour period. Our traps have been up for 24 hours now and there are two in one trap and four in this one. Do we treat with an insecticide or not? This may be the wrong decision, but I'm not going to treat because blooming is winding down.  This decision may come back to haunt me.  What would a real sunflower farmer do?

Plane spraying fieldIf the treatable threshold were met, a real farmer would have the field aerially treated with an insecticide.  This plane or crop duster is applying an insecticide to reduce head moth infestations. 

Cracks in groundIt's been rather warm lately and it hasn't rained for a while. These cracks in the ground are evidence.  Our field hasn't shown any drought symptoms, but our field is still using about 0.3 inches of water per day. So, we could use a little moisture.  The water use per day will gradually decline from this point on.