Mandan, ND– The USDA estimate for 2018 US sunflower production was released earlier this month. Minnesota had a great sunflower crop last year with some reported yields as high as 3,500 pounds per acre. So, it was no surprise that the Minnesota average oil-type yield per acre of 2,250 pounds increased 300 pounds from 2017 and was a record high. The non-oil yield was also a record high in Minnesota at 2,150, topping the previous record high by 200 pounds.
“What is especially impressive about those numbers is that we had a long dry spell in Northwest Minnesota where much of the state's sunflower crop is grown,” says Kevin Capistran, Crookston, MN producer and past-chairman of the National Sunflower Association’s Board of Directors. “Essentially, it didn’t rain for about six weeks in July and August, yet we still had a very good quality crop and very little disease. I think that goes to show that if we can take care of the disease issues we’ve battled in the past, we can grow a really good sunflower crop year after year.”
Minnesota was the third largest state in terms of total sunflower production. The state’s sunflower production increased 67% from 2017 to 2018. Minnesota producers planted more sunflower acres in 2018 as well. Planted acres increased 36% from 38,700 acres in 2017 to 52,500 acres of sunflower in 2018; 45,000 of those were oil-type sunflower while 7,500 were non-oil.
Click here to see the entire Annual Sunflower Crop Production Report.