SFU Speakers | Bismarck, ND | Dec 11th

Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center | Tuesday, December 11th | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

John Sandbakken
National Sunflower Association (NSA)
Executive Director

Presentation Title:
Sunflower Industry Updates
Presentation Overview:
World markets and acres, insurance coverage updates for sunflower growers, benefits of the NSA to growers
Bio: John Sandbakken became Executive Director of the National Sunflower Association located in Mandan, North Dakota USA in January 2012. Previous to this he was the International Marketing Director for sixteen years. The National Sunflower Association is a combination of United States sunflower growers and industry members. NSA is a non-profit agricultural organization working in the areas of market development, education, production and utilization research. Previous to working at NSA, Mr. Sandbakken worked for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Division for eleven years, heading the division for the last seven years. In that position, he assisted various commodity groups and private companies in their international marketing programs.

Bob Weigelt/Rick Ekins
Regional Market Manager/Precisions Platform Manager

Presentation Title:
In-Furrow Protection so Advanced, Its Simple
Presentation Overview:
New developments for sunflowers: including a label expansion within the existing insecticide/bio fungicide portfolio and the revolutionary 3Rive 3D in-row delivery system — all slated to be labeled and available for the 2019 season and beyond.
Bob Weigelt grew up on a wheat (and later sunflower) family farm in Fessenden, ND. Attended NDSU — Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy/Weed Science. Joined DuPont in 1979, and retired in 2017.  Joined FMC in 2017 for my “rookie” 40th season. Started in Great Falls, Montana doing cereals Market Development for the first SU Chemistry (Glean) and also small plot research. Came “back home” in 1981 to Minot, and have been a Territory Rep in the Minot and Bismarck area since. A career highlight has been the development, introduction and success of the ExpressSun® system; and the ability to produce sunflower on previously “difficult to raise” fields. Other duties and interests @ FMC include new field Rep training, mentoring and serving as a technical resource. Joined the National Sunflower Association Board in 2015 as an Industry Representative – currently serve as Chair of the NSA Research Committee. Bio: Rick Ekins is the application and innovations platform lead for FMC who has been part of the company for over 18 years. With previous experience managing the FMC fungicide and insecticide portfolios, Ekins has a deep understanding of the company’s capabilities and is now engaged in the precision platform segment of the business. The Michigan State University alum leads a team focused on delivering precision and reliability to FMC customers beyond chemistry with cutting-edge technology including the 3RIVE 3D® application system and PrecisionPac® application innovation. 

Allen Pfenning
Business Representative
Presentation Title:
We Create Chemistry
Presentation Overview:
The struggles sunflower growers encounter and the products that BASF has to help or could be coming down the pipeline. What does Clearfield Plus mean and how it can benefit a grower.
Allen Pfennig grew up on a ranch in Driscoll, ND and spent his teenage years helping his Grandpa ranch and his Dad with his custom combining and spraying business.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from NDSU in Crop and Weed Sciences.  After college, he worked as crop consultant for Opti-Crop for 3 years.  He worked for Wilbur-Ellis for 6 years as a Seed Sales Representative selling many crop types including sunflower.  Allen currently works for BASF as a Business Representative and has served in that capacity for 5 years.  In addition to the continuing education of a Certified Crop Advisor, he has a Masters of Science in Business degree from the University of Mary.  Allen lives in Bismarck with his wife and 2 young daughters.

Dr. Abbey Wick
NDSU Assistant Professor
Extension Soil Health Specialist
Presentation Title:
Using Soil Health Building Practices in Sunflowers
Presentation Overview:
What is the importance of rotation – especially including deep rooted crops when transitioning to no-till, where cover crops can fit in with sunflowers and what it means for the whole system and soil health – including cover crops seeded with sunflower and sunflowers into cereal rye or cereal rye seeded after sunflowers.
Bio: Abbey Wick is the Soil Health Extension Specialist at NDSU. She works with farmers on incorporating cover crops and reducing tillage and also develops state-wide training programs for county agents. When it comes to using cover crops, her philosophy is to keep it simple.

Dr. Page Klug
Research Wildlife Biologist
Presentation Title:
Tools and Methods Research in Wildlife Damage Management: Blackbirds & Sunflower
Presentation Overview: Recent research in managing the blackbird-sunflower conflict (i.e., unmanned aircraft systems [UAS] as frightening devices or vehicles for other tools, anthraquinone-based repellents in sunflower and application issues even with the use of drop nozzles, “sonic nets” to reduce blackbird damage to sunflower) and how the tools or methods may or may not help sunflower growers.
Bio: Page Klug is a Research Wildlife Biologist and the Field Station Leader for the ‘Birds and Agriculture’ Project of the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) North Dakota Field Station. NWRC is the U.S. Government agency dedicated to conducting research aimed at resolving conflicts between wildlife and people and is considered the research arm of the Wildlife Services (WS), within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal Health and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS). Page is located in Fargo, ND and housed within the Biological Sciences Department at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Page is responsible for researching and developing tools and methods to reduce avian damage to agriculture. Her research in avian damage management is involves a variety of novel methods, such as 1) drop-nozzles to apply avian repellent, 2) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS; or drones) as a hazing device or as a vehicle for other hazing devices, 3) ‘sonic nets’ using sound to disrupt avian communication, and many more ideas to come. Page has been with NWRC for 3 years and has worked as a wildlife biologist for over 15 years with graduate degrees in Biology from the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University.

Dr. Janet Knodel
NDSU Professor
Extension Entomologist
Presentation Title:
What’s New in Sunflower Insect Pest Management
Presentation Overview:
Not your typical sunflower insect presentation, Dr. Knodel walks us through the newest research on wireworms and other items of concern for growers.
Dr. Janet J. Knodel is the Professor and Extension Entomologist at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. For the past 20 years, she provides statewide program leadership for Extension Entomology, the North Dakota Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, and coordinates / co-edits the NDSU Crop & Pest Report. Her extension outreach and applied research focuses on insect pests of field crops and IPM strategies including sunflower insect pest management. She has authored / co-authored more than 300 publications in professional, Extension, technical and trade journals including 32 peer-reviewed papers and five book chapters.

Paul Drache
Central Life Sciences
Regional Manager
Presentation Title: No Bugs On My Watch
Presentation Overview:
Keeping a sunflower field during the growing season free of harmful insects is important, but so is keeping the grain bug free once it’s harvested and in the bin.
I grew up on a farm/feedlot at Baker, Minnesota, and have been involved with agriculture ever since.  After working on several farms and a larger farm/ranch at the age of 27 I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where I graduated in 1990 with a BA in Business Administration and Speech Communications and Theater Arts.  After graduation I worked for DeKalb/Monsanto for 15 years in Minnesota as a District Manager, taking my territory from less than 2% market share to over 45% in that time frame.  I then worked for Cargill Ag Horizons in Minnesota and Syngenta Seeds in Colorado, and the western nine States, before joining Central Life Sciences in 2010 as a Regional Manager covering 10 states from Minnesota to Texas promoting “BUGFREEGRAINS.” Today because of the growth at CLS we have added head counts so my territory today is Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. I have been awarded the Bronco Buster award the last two years for outstanding sales growth.  The biggest part of my job today is educating people on protecting their commodities from stored grain pests, as one elevator manager put it “we store grain of course we have bugs”.   My main goal has always been to help others be able to increase their profitability by using the products I promote.  “When others do better we all benefit.” Paul lives in Greeley, Colorado with his wife Lisa and their 15 year old daughter. They have 4 daughters, 2 son-in-law’s and 9 grandchildren.

Ryan Buetow
NDSU Extension
Cropping Systems Specialist
Presentation Title: National Sunflower Survey: An Overview
Presentation Overview:
Every two years a National Survey is conducted in all counties that grow sunflowers. The results of this survey help us take an in depth look at trends among growers, major issues that may be arising and factors inhibiting yield.
Ryan Buetow is the NDSU Extension Cropping Systems Specialist at the NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center. Buetow attended North Dakota State University, where he pursued an undergraduate degree in crop and weed science and a master’s degree in plant sciences working under Dr. Hans Kandel in nitrogen management in soybean and dry bean. He is currently working towards a PhD at NDSU in plant sciences with Dr. Joel Ransom working with factors impacting stand establishment in wheat. Along with this work he is also helping coordinate the National Sunflower Survey, working on observing the effects of rotation, nitrogen, and fungicide on foliar diseases of barley, strategies to reduce soil salinity/sodicity, impact of aluminum toxicity on wheat, nutrient management and effect of plant population on soybean, methods of teff stand establishment, and observing effects of crop rotation and seed treatment on wheat. Buetow also coordinates demonstration plots on a variety of cover crop species. Buetow is originally from Cologne, MN.

Guy Christensen
Oilseed Marketing Representative
Presentation Title: How the Sunflower Markets are Changing
Presentation Overview:
An inside look at the ever-changing world of sunflower markets, how millennials are changing what the end users are looking for and what the future holds for NuSuns and High Oleics.
Bio: Guy Christensen is the Oilseed Marketing Representative for Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) softseed processing division with locations in ND, MN, KS and Canada. Guy is responsible for the design and promotion of oilseed and pulses (Sunflower, Canola, Soybeans, Field Peas & Chickpea ) production contracts that provide producers with risk management tools and income opportunities. Guy also manages ADM’s Northern Plains sustainability project that is aimed at adding future value to participating growers that can document their sustainable management practices. Guy recently completed 12 years as an Industry representative on the Board of the National Sunflower Association and currently serves the Minnesota Canola Council.

Lee Moran
Hamilton Systems
Commercial Sales/Project Manager
Presentation Title: Key to a Successful Sunflower Harvest
Presentation Overview: How to have a successful sunflower harvest

 Dr. Sam Markell
NDSU Professor
Extension Plant Pathologist
Presentation Title: Sunflower Disease Update
Presentation Overview:
An in-depth look at the diseases that are plaquing ND sunflower growers.
Dr. Sam Markell joined the NDSU Department of plant pathology in 2007 as an Extension plant pathologist focusing on broadleaf crop diseases.  The mission of Sam’s program is to develop management tools for economically important diseases, including Phomopsis, downy mildew and rust in sunflower.