Since most crops have been consistently behind in maturity by a couple of weeks all season long, the high winds and heavy wet snow last week definitely did not help matters. There is still a lot of harvesting to do.
Only a few lucky sunflower fields have been harvested, but for the majority of acres, the crop is still out there. High winds and heavy wet snow will not be a sunflower’s friend this fall, impacts will depend on current maturity of the crop. If the sunflower plant had plenty of green leaves left on it then the snow could have stacked up on the leaves and petioles, causing extra weight and lodging. If most of the leaves were gone (maturity, disease, desiccation) then the snow had a greater chance of not having as big of an impact. The high winds may also not have allowed the snow to accumulate on the plants at all, but lodging damage due directly to the wind could come into play. None of this is good news, but rather a reality of what growers should be mindful of as harvest, hopefully, starts progressing.
Nuseed’s Technical Agronomist, Alison Pokrzywinski, and Mick Kjar of Farm talk discuss more on the possible affects of this storm on sunflowers and what to be thinking about as you plan for 2020: https://chirb.it/t1aeI6