Sunflowers blooming in North Dakota

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BURLEIGH COUNTY, N.D. - It's a bit of a late bloom for sunflowers in North Dakota, but that's not necessarily bad news for farmers.

The numbers are a little behind. As right now, 63 percent of the crop is blooming while 91 percent was blossoming at this time last year. The five year average is 79 percent. But experts say they're impressed with how well the flowers are doing with all the cool and wet weather we've had.

The future is bright yellow for this year's sunflowers.

“We've got a tremendous crop coming,” farmer Clark Coleman said.

Coleman says he planted a little late, but the flowers are right where they're supposed to be at this time of the year.

“We've gotten adequate moisture, we haven't gotten any hail and no big winds,” Coleman said.

He says now what they need is some heat. Cooler temperatures in the spring and summer put the crop behind the five year average. But, experts say they aren't worried.

“The last three years we've had, we've had some really nice warm conditions, so we probably were a little bit ahead of normal but we're about a week behind normal right now I’d say,” John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association said.

Sandbakken says the number of flowers blooming almost doubled from last week and he's expecting 100 percent blossoming by next week.

Coleman says the heads of some of his flowers will double in size before they're done growing.

“I can't remember the last time we had a whole crop look so uniform and nice,” Coleman said.

But for that to continue, he says he's going to need some help from Mother Nature.

More than 75 percent of North Dakota's crop is rated either good or excellent this year.