Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Aug 31 2020
Crop Progress
Sunflowers in North Dakota are done blooming; 65% of the crop is reported in the petals dry state. Harvest continues in Texas and in Minnesota, 75% of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition.
Crop Progress - Monday, August 31, 2020
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Petals Dry 65 33 31 59
Bracts Yellow 29 6 5 25
Bracts Brown 3 --- --- ---
Harvested NA 44 48 45
Crop Conditions - Monday, August 31, 2020
State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 1 7 27 59 6
Minnesota 3 4 18 68 7
Colorado 7 33 43 16 1
Benefits of desiccation
Now is a great time to start thinking about desiccating your sunflower crop. Getting the crop harvested several weeks early can result in higher yields and lower drying costs. Late season crop damage and blackbird damage can be reduced and desiccation may also slow down head diseases such as Sclerotinia. Early dry down can also minimize artificial drying costs. September and the first half of October harvest can often allow the use of air-drying to lower seed moisture in storage. Click here to learn more about desiccation.
Grower report
Despite a dry summer, Bismarck, ND area producer Clark Coleman says his sunflower crop looks good. He says the sunflowers have been ahead of schedule all summer, and some spots are already beginning to dry down. He expects to harvest earlier than usual too. Coleman has about 3,000 acres of sunflower this year, mostly high oleic with about 700 acres of confection sunflower.  
USDA provides help with blackbirds
Sunflowers are blooming and it is never too early to think about blackbird control. Local birds cause a large amount of damage as petals begin to dry and drop (R6 stage). Be proactive early on to minimize seed loss, do not wait for the buildup of large flocks. For a map with phone numbers for those USDA Wildlife Services personnel that can help North Dakota producers who have blackbird  problems, click here. Some other ways to reduce damage include cattail management, cannons, harassment, desiccants, and repellants. These tools are even more effective when used together. For more on blackbirds, click here.
Estimating yields in sunflower
September is typically an idea month to estimate sunflower yields. Sunflower yields can be estimated using the tried and true method that is used during the annual sunflower survey. Sunflower should be at R7 stage of growth. To learn more about estimating yield, click here
Upcoming events
January 13-14, 2021
NSA Research Forum
Holiday Inn, Fargo, ND
June 22-24, 2021
NSA Summer Seminar Duluth, MN
After being very quiet for several weeks, nearby NuSun and high oleic prices at the crush plants were unchanged to up 5 cents this week. The 2020 US sunflower crop continues to progress at a faster pace after a slow start this spring. Very warm to hot temperatures along with drier soil conditions are pushing the crop toward maturity in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Some of the crop could be desiccated in early September for harvest. Most of the crop in these states is considered in good to excellent condition. This should mean that yields will be above trend assuming normal weather through the rest of this fall and the lack of an early freeze. Crop conditions in Colorado have improved slightly in the past few weeks however drought is still affecting the crop with most of it in only fair condition.  Mid-August through September is the critical time frame for sunflowers. Buyers will be anxiously watching crop production prospects before making longer term purchases. 2020 U.S. sunflower production is still undetermined and will not be known until this fall. Initial estimates of total oil and non-oil sunflower production is in a range of 2.2-2.4 billion pounds, which is about 25 percent higher than last year’s crop. In October, USDA will provide its first estimate for oil and non-oil sunflower production.  These reports and demand news will set the tone for new crop sunflower price direction in the near term.
Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, August 31, 2020 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2020 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 28.87 31.66 32.96 +1.30 32.86
West Fargo, ND NuSun 18.30 16.60 16.60 NC 16.60
West Fargo, ND High Oleic 18.75 16.80 16.80 NC 16.80
Enderlin, ND NuSun 18.75 16.60 16.65 +.05 16.65
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 18.70 16.80 16.85 +.05 16.85
Goodland, KS NuSun 16.45 16.80 16.85 +.05 16.85
Goodland, KS High Oleic 17.55 17.80 17.85 +.05 17.85
Prices recorded here are believed to be reliable at the time of posting. All prices are subject to change. Contact these facilities for complete market details.
U.S. CRUDE OIL VALUES recorded on Monday, August 31, 2020
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 28.37 31.91 33.21 +1.30
Cotton Oil (psby) 37.94 46.66 17.96 +1.30
Corn Oil 29.00 68.00 68.00 NC
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