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Sunflower Briefs

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

USDA Releases Initial Production Estimate
       USDA-NASS released its first estimate of 2019 U.S. sunflower production on October 10. The numbers were compiled prior to the major snowstorm that hit much of North Dakota as well as portions of South Dakota and western Minnesota.
       The October USDA report projected total 2019 sunflower production at about 2.25 billion lbs.  That compares with 2018’s output of 2.11 billion.  At a projected 956.4 million lbs, North Dakota led the states, followed by South Dakota at 912.9 million.  Again, however, these projections came out prior to the October snowstorm, so could well end up lower.  The October production estimates were about 7% higher than 2018’s U.S. sunflower output.
       Both NASS and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency released updated estimates in early October on U.S. planted sunflower acres.  For oil sunflower acreage, NASS pegged the total at 1.2 million, while FSA placed the number at nearly 1.18 million acres.  For nonoil acreage, NASS estimated 158,800 acres and FSA put it at 155,162.  Total planted acreage estimates thus came to about 1.36 million (NASS) and 1.33 million (FSA).
       The FSA oil-type planted acreage numbers included 29,409 acres in states other than the eight for which NASS gathers sunflower data (i.e., California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas).  For nonoil acres, FSA counted 16,684 in “Other” states.
       NASS will publish its next estimate of 2019 U.S. sunflower production in January.
Canadian Production Down from 2018
       Canadian farmers seeded 55,900 acres of sunflower in 2019, with Manitoba accounting for about 85% of the total, according to a report from Statistics Canada. The acreage was down from the 70,700 acres seeded the previous year.  Statistics Canada estimated 2019 production at 46,800 metric tons (MT), which compares with the 57,300 MT produced in 2018 and the five-year average of 58,620 MT. 
       Industry estimates peg about two-thirds of this year’s acreage as oilseed sunflower. This represents a shift from previous history, as confections had traditionally accounted for the majority of Canadian sunflower acres.
Sunflower Included in U.S.-Japan Trade Deal
       The U.S. and Japan signed an agreement in early October that will lower or eliminate tariffs into Japan's market.  The National Sunflower Association had been in contact with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requesting that any U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Japan reduce the tariff for U.S. sunflower oil, putting us on par with our foreign competitors. Under the agreement, the tariff on crude sunflower oil is reduced by one-third of the base rate as of January 1, 2020, and scheduled to fall to zero by April 1, 2023.  
       Japanese consumption and imports of sunflower oil are increasing and are expected to grow by 5% annually.  Removing the tariff ensures the U.S. sunflower industry remains competitive in the Japanese market and will foster the future export of sun oil to that nation.
NSA Specialty Crop Grants
       The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has awarded the National Sunflower Association $124,050 for enhancing rust resistance in confection sunflower through next-generation technologies.  In addition, North Dakota State University was awarded $75,751 for optimizing deployment of bee vectored Clonostachys roseafor managing Sclerotinia head rot in confection sunflower. 
       The money is part of 24 grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) approved, totaling over $2.7 million.  The money is given to promote the development, cultivation, production and sales of specialty crops in North Dakota. 
Research Forum Papers Invited
       The National Sunflower Association is inviting research papers to be presented at the NSA Research Forum, set for January 8 and 9, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. Presentations may be either oral or in the form of a poster.  A time will be designated for authors to be with their posters and answer questions. Each oral presentation will be limited to 10-12 minutes with two to three minutes allowed for questions. 
       Click here if interested in presenting a paper.  The actual paper or poster need not be submitted at this time; just the information indicated online and author information.  Submissions must be completed by November 15, 2019. 
Internat’l Conference in June
       The 20th International Sunflower Conference will take place on June 22-25, 2020, in Novi Sad, Serbia.  The event is hosted by the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops Novi Sad and the International Sunflower Association.  The ISC program will consist of invited talks, parallel scientific sessions and poster sessions, followed by a field day on the 25th.
       More information on the conference is available here.          
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