2016's sunflower crop had a record breaking yield. The USDA report on 2016 sunflower crop production, released today, shows the United States average yield per acre increased 106 pounds from last year to a record high 1,731 pounds. Average yield of oil-type sunflower varieties also increased by 152 pounds from 2015, to a record high 1,731 pounds per acre in 2016. The average yield of confection sunflower decreased by 139 pounds from last year’s record high to 1,726 pounds per acre. This still represents the second highest yield on record for non-oil varieties.
“This is great news for sunflower producers,” says John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association. “Sunflower has proven to be a profitable crop that works well in crop rotations in many different types of soils and climates.”
North Dakota is the top sunflower-producing state. Production in North Dakota totaled 1.14 billion pounds, an increase of seven percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted area in North Dakota decreased four percent but yield increased 192 pounds to a record high 1,715 pounds per acre. Meanwhile, production in South Dakota decreased 14 percent but the average yield in South Dakota increased 100 pounds from 2015 to a record high 1,958 pounds per acre.
Across the nation, harvested oil-type acres are down nine percent, but total production of oil-type sunflower varieties decreased less than one percent from 2015 due to a record national average yield. Production of oil-type sunflower is estimated at 2.4 billion pounds.
Production of non-oil sunflower varieties is estimated at 286 million pounds, a decrease of 47 percent from last year. Area harvested, at 165,500 acres, is down 43 percent from 2015. The average yield decreased by 139 pounds from last year’s record high to 1,726 pounds per acre. This still represents the second highest yield on record for non-oil varieties.
For more on the USDA numbers, click here.