Date of this Version
Most of you are wondering why the National Cottonseed Products Association, which is the trade organization that I am a staff agronomist for, and have been for twenty-five years, is looking at sunflowers. I hasten to remind you that we are in a changing time and that we must adjust to those changing times. We were a one crop system in the South raising cotton only. It was our trade association that began to look for new oil seed crops as another crop to process and another crop for our farmers to grow. We brought soybeans to the South. We brought safflower into the western area. We have continued to look to new oil seed crops as a partial alternative. Having viewed sunflowers ten to twelve years, I thought they had a potential in our country. Seeing what Russia was doing with sunflowers, I made a trip into Russia at my own expense in 1967 and have been back twice since. I am convinced that this crop can grow in this country and will probably be a potential crop within the next ten years. So we may have a crop that offers a great potential in our country, and I just wanted to alert you of this new crop and of the problems involved. I ask for your help when you are screening chemical materials, because we have had the help of the chemical industry in screening some of the herbicides and insecticides needed for developing this crop. We have many problems involved. The birds were here when this country was founded. They will be here when we leave. We can live with them, but it is with a conference of this type in working together and sitting down and airing our differences that can solve these problems. And I think they can be.