Sunflower research in North Dakota focuses on variety testing. Additional research has been conducted on cost-effective cultural practices, possible use to produce a red dye food colorant, and the estimated economic impact of banning an insecticide. Variety testing has been conducted at most state experiment sites in North Dakota, including, Casselton Agronomy Seed Farm, Carrington Research Extension Center, Langdon, Minot, Williston, Dickinson, and Hettinger Experiment Stations. A comparison of the impact of conventional tillage and no tillage on sunflower in North Dakota has been conducted at Dickinson Experiment Station and USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan. A large number of diseases and pests may infect sunflower. The North Dakota State University Entomology Department and the state experiment stations have ongoing research directed at meeting the problems producers face. The Department of Agricultural Economics and the Department of Food and Nutrition at North Dakota State University have investigated the feasibility of extracting a red food colorant from the hulls of purple-hulled sunflower. The Department of Agricultural Economics has estimated the impacts of banning methyl parathion application on sunflower.


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