National Sunflower Association
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National Sunflower Association

Sunflower Highlights

County-Level Commodity Estimates Released
County-level estimates for 2016 row crops are now available, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The estimates, based primarily on surveys conducted with farmers and ranchers last fall, can be accessed using the QuickStats online database, found here. Commodity estimated released include sunflower, corn, and soybeans. County-level estimates for canola and flaxseed will be published in March and dry edible peas, lentils, dry edible beans, and hay will be published in April.

NSA Board of Directors Approves Research
The NSA Board of Directors has selected eleven research projects to fund for 2017. The projects total about $258,000 and include studies on evaluating an integrated managed approach for management of Phomopsis stem canker, evaluating insecticide effectiveness for sunflower moth control, mapping of sunflower insect resistance traits, treatments for management of wireworms in sunflowers and evaluating the efficacy of a repellent for reducing blackbird damage.

NSA Team Going to Washington
National Sunflower Association farmer Board members from four different states will travel to Washington, DC March 12-15. The team includes: Art Ridl (Dickinson, ND), Karl Esping (Lindsborg, KS), Kevin Capistran (Crookston, MN), and Lance Hourigan (Lemmon, SD). NSA Executive Director John Sandbakken will also make the trip. The group will visit with members of Congress about the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill and Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations. In addition, the group will meet with officials from the USDA APHIS/Wildlife Services to discuss blackbird depredation concerns.

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Markets
2017 crop insurance prices will be announced this week. The price election for oil type sunflowers is expected to be around $18.20 with confections at $27.20 per cwt. This represents an increase of $1.30 for oil type and 50 cents for confections per cwt. versus 2016 price elections. USDA gave the market a generally neutral 2017 outlook at the agency's annual outlook conference last week. USDA projects soybean acres will grow to 88 million acres planted this spring, up 4.6 million acres from last year, while corn planting will be 90 million acres, down 4 million from last year. The corn figure was in line with average trade guesses but soybean was well below with most in the trade thinking that soybean acreage will come in at 90-91 million acres in 2017. Total wheat acres are forecast at 46 million, down 8.3% from last year's 50.2 million acres for a third straight year of declines. USDA expects ending stocks for most crops staying close to this season's estimated amounts. Historically, the March USDA US Planting Intentions report tends to be higher than USDA Outlook Conference acreage estimates. Also, USDA used trendline yields that were below those we saw in 2016, so there is room for more bearish supply increases, should we get another year of good growing weather. The market will use this information until more is known about final planted acres this summer.

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