Colorado's climate puts it among the top 10 states for sunflower production, but many of the state's farmers have cut back on planting sunflowers. Last year Colorado’s sunflower production dropped to a fraction of its high in 1999. Now, growers are considering how much they're willing to pay to help reverse the trend. Shanna Lewis reports farmers are voting on whether to double the fee on sunflowers.
Sunflower growers currently pay three-cents per hundred weight to support marketing and research on their crop.
Ron Meyer is a CSU Extension Agronomist in Burlington about 75 miles east of Limon. He says the higher assessment would fund research on pest management, new hybrids and other ways to improve yields.
"That research," said Meyer, "helps producers decide which production practices work best out here."
Voting runs through April 18th with results expected by the end of the month.
The sunflower fee isn't the only one Colorado farmers are considering. Wheat growers voted recently to continue the assessment they pay and a ballot to increase the assessment on dry beans is being tabulated now.