Sunflowers tested as a crop


Photo Credit: SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - A trial field of sunflowers on North Boise Lane.Twenty acres of sunflowers are being grown on Boise Drive by Harold Siegenhagen as a trial field for CHS Inc.

Most of the blooms are gone now, and the sunflower heads are drooping down, heavy with seed. The plants are a hybrid variety, which produce seed used for eating.

“A few fields were grown in the 1970s, but this is a new crop to the area,” said CHS senior agronomist Jim Carroll, adding, “CHS is big in sunflowers in the Midwest.”

The seed from this field will be gathered to use for seed in another area, he noted.

“This is a trial field to see how sunflowers do here. If they do well, the next big obstacle will be keeping the birds out,” Carroll said.