A bright sight amid drought-stricken land
These sunflowers growing in a field 15 miles south of Hebron ripen in the sun Wednesday afternoon. The crop has benefitted from recent rainfall in the area, even as the Dakotas suffer moderate to extreme drought. Conditions have changed little over the past week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Parts of western and southern South Dakota remain in extreme drought. Much of the rest of the state is in moderate to severe drought. North Dakota is better off, though much of the eastern part of the state and the southwestern corner is in severe drought. "Sunflower prices rallied on the USDA reports by 50 cents and ended the week up 75 to 80 cents on old crop," John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, Mandan, said in a U.S. Department of Agriculture report issued Thursday. "New crop picked up 90 cents." He added that "rain at this time can still improve the production prospects for sunflowers."