Nearby prices at the crush plants were mixed at down 10 to up 5 cents this week. 2021 new crop moved down 10 cents. About 25% of sunflowers were in the bin as of last week, up from 14% seven days earlier and well ahead of the prior five-year average of 10% for this time of year, the USDA said. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 173,000 acres pushing 2020 harvested acres to about 382,000 acres. Harvest progress remains about two weeks ahead of the five year average and four weeks ahead of last year at this same time. However, a snow event this weekend in parts of ND and MN could slow harvest for a few days. Last week, USDA pegged 2020 sunflower production at 2.81 billion pounds, up 44 percent from the revised 2019 production of 1.96 billion pounds. USDA added 19 million pounds to 2019 oil sunflower production and shaved off 6.6 million pounds from non-oil production. Area planted, at 1.70 million acres, is up 26 percent from last year. US sunflower growers are expected to harvest 1.62 million acres, up 29 percent from last year. The overall average yield for all sunflower types is forecast, at 1,730 pounds per acre. This is 170 pounds higher than last year’s yield and will be just one pound less than the record high average yield on record, if realized. North Dakota production is forecast at 1.23 billion pounds, up 64 percent from 2019 with South Dakota at 1.11 billion pounds up 33 percent from last year. Harvest progress, yield and crop quality will be key to prices going forward.