Sunflowers are popping up in the Ozarks this summer, despite drought conditions

Even with recent drought & recent rounds of rain
Despite recent drought and recent rounds of rain, the sunflowers are taking it all in stride.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Parts of the Ozarks are home to some beautiful sunflower fields.

Many sunflower fans were wondering how the recent weather, from our wet spring to our hot & dry weather for much of the summer, would impact these colorful flowers. The recent flowers at Miller Farm Park in Willard appear to be in good shape. Curtis Millsap of Millsap Farms says his are coming along just fine as well. At the start of the planting season, it was a bit tricky to get the sunflowers started.

“The initial planting season was too wet to get them into the ground,” says Millsap. “And then it just turned off. If you didn’t hit that magic window of a week right after it stopped raining, it’s been a really hard season.” With Millsap’s farm and other sunflower fields around the Ozarks aiming for continuous blooms through the season, fresh plants go into the ground every two weeks. With that schedule, soil material to resist drought to a degree, along with sunflowers being able to tolerate some drought and recent rain spells, he doesn’t have any concern for his flowers or others across the area.

“They’re going to make it. They’ll have a pretty decent crop,” Millsap says. “The rain arrived just in time to get theirs. They were limping along through the end of July. But their late August - early September sunflowers are going to do okay. They’ll probably be a little shorter, but that’s better for pictures.” Looking ahead, Millsap is optimistic about how September is shaping up. Millsap says, “That’s good for the farm and agritourism business. There are so many great corn mazes, sunflower patches, and pumpkin patches. That’s an important part of local agriculture. It’s a reliable part of their income and a great way for the community to interact with their agriculture.”

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