For the second year in a row, South Dakota has been named the leading sunflower-producing state in the nation. That’s according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics released last week. The report estimates production in South Dakota at 877 million pounds for 2014. Of those 877 million pounds, 668 million were oil sunflowers; the rest were non-oil varieties. This is only the third time since 1977 that South Dakota has been the top sunflower producing state.
“This is great news for South Dakota sunflower producers,” says Lance Hourigan, National Sunflower Association board member and Lemmon area sunflower producer. “Sunflowers have proven to be a profitable crop for our state, and we hope this news will encourage even more producers to plant sunflowers this spring.“
South Dakota’s planted and harvested acres were down slightly in 2014, but yield per acre was up from 2013. Yield per acre increased from 1,534 pounds per acre to 1,679 pounds per acre.
Nationwide, production of non-oil sunflower varieties is estimated at 2.2 million pounds, a slight increase from last year. Harvested acres are up three percent from 2013. The average yield increased by 89 pounds. Production of oil-type sunflower varieties in the United States was up two percent from 2013. Non-oil production was up 43 percent nationwide.
“I hope the trend of increased sunflower acres in South Dakota as well as in other sunflower-producing states continues,” says Hourigan. “Sunflowers are a good crop for the unpredictable South Dakota weather, as proven by the state being the top producing state for two years in a row.”
For more on the USDA numbers, visit www.sunflowernsa.com/stats/usda-reports/january-annual-crop-production/