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July 29, 2014 06:16 AM

Sunflower Crop Progressing In The Dakotas

Sioux Falls, SD

The sunflower crop is progressing in the Dakotas.

The National Sunflower Association says South Dakota's blooms are above average, while North Dakota's are a little behind average.

The group says 18 percent of South Dakota's crop is blooming. That's ahead of last year's 10 percent average and a five-year average of 14 percent.

Meanwhile, only 1 percent of North Dakota's crop is blooming. The average for the state last year is 5 percent, while the five-year average is 10 percent. Still, the association says, crop conditions there are rated 79 percent good to excellent.

Sunflowers are used to make cooking oil, snacks and bird seed. North Dakota produces about half of the nation's crop, and South Dakota's production is not far behind.

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