Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Jan 04 2016
Bill Underwood to Speak at NSA Research Forum
Dr. Bill Underwood will be the noon speaker at this year’s NSA Research Forum, scheduled for next week. Dr. Underwood will speak about new approaches to address multiple sunflower disease challenges. Dr. Underwood joined the ARS Sunflower and Plant Biology Research Unit in July 2015. Originally from southern Indiana, he received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University and his PhD in genetics at Michigan State University. 
Entries Needed for 2016 Colorado State University Hybrid Sunflower Performance Trials
Both dryland and irrigated oil and confection type sunflowers are important crops in Colorado, with 73,500 acres of sunflower planted there in 2015. In 2016, hybrid sunflower performance will be evaluated at two irrigated trials and two dryland trials. Irrigated trial plots are two row plots at a length of 30 feet, and dryland plots are four rows wide by 30 feet long. Hybrids will be evaluated for stand establishment, lodging, yield, test weight, seed moisture, oil percentage for oil types, and seed size for confection types. Completed entry forms are due on April 15, 2016 and payment is due by May 4, 2016. The 2016 trial results will be available after harvest at so seed companies can easily access and distribute results in a timely fashion. Select sunflower trial results will be published in an early 2017 issue of the High Plains Journal as well as in our annual Sunflower Technical Report. For more information, contact Jerry Johnson at (970) 491-1454, or Sally Sauer at (970) 491-1914. 
Register to Attend the NSA Research Forum
The National Sunflower Association’s 38th Annual Sunflower Research Forum is next week. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, Colorado State University, and Iowa State University will present their findings on sunflower studies they have conducted. Topics will cover everything from diseases, insects, irrigation, blackbirds, and more. The forum is set for January 12-13, 2016 in Fargo, ND. The forum is an annual event designed to learn about research, promote discussion, and stimulate creative thinking. Register online now at You’ll find a forum schedule and hotel information there as well. 
The 2015 crop has had excellent quality and yields will possibly be a record. Next week USDA will release its final 2015 sunflower production estimate. Most do not look for USDA to make big changes to the US 2015 sunflower crop or carryout on their Jan 12 report. In the world oil market, palm oil prices are expected to rally as El Nino weather reduces production. This should prop up soybean oil values on the Chicago Board of Trade and is good news for sunflower. Sun oil values are closely tied to soyoil values. The birdfood market has been somewhat quiet. Warmer than normal temperatures with little snow on the US East Coast, the primary market for birdfood, has slowed demand. Birdfood prices could rally if tougher winter conditions set in later. Crushers are offering both 2016 cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts for NuSun and High Oleics. High oleic sunflower contracts are at a premium to NuSun prices. Something else to keep in mind is oil premiums that are paid on sunflower. Oil premiums are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40% at a rate of 2% price premium for each 1% of oil above 40%. For example, 45% oil content results in a 10% price premium which pushes gross returns from oil sunflower even higher.
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