Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Mar 18 2019
Proper Spring Grain Drying and Storage Critical
As outdoor temperatures increase, stored grain requires attention to prevent losses, says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer and grain drying expert. The stored grain temperature increases in the spring not only due to an increase in outdoor temperatures but also due to solar heat gain on the bin. Solar energy produces more than twice as much heat gain on the south wall of a bin in early spring as it does during the summer.  Here are some recommendations from Hellevang:
  • Run aeration fans periodically to keep the grain temperature near or below 30 degrees until the grain is dried if it exceeds recommended storage moisture contents, and below 40 degrees as long as possible during spring and early summer if it is dry.
  • Cover the fan when it is not operating to prevent warm air from blowing into the bin and heating the stored grain. He also recommends ventilating the top of the bin to remove the solar heat gain that warms the grain. Provide air inlets near the eaves and exhausts near the peak or use a roof exhaust fan.
  • Bin vents can become blocked with frost and ice when the fan is operated at temperatures near or below freezing, which may lead to damage to the roof. Leave the fill and access door open as a pressure relief valve when operating the fan at temperatures near or below freezing.
  • The naturalair-drying for oil sunflowers requires an airflow rate of 0.75 cfm/bu for up to 15 percent moisture. The drying should start when outdoor temperatures average about 40 degrees.
Click here for more tips.
NSA Website Offers Help for Growers
Spring planting on your mind? If you’ve got questions about growing sunflower, we’ve got answers? Click here to visit the growers section on our website. This section addresses many questions and factors that influence a successful sunflower crop. Several links are provided that give more details about many important topics, including insects, diseases, weeds, yield trials, approved chemicals, production, marketing, crop insurance, and more.
Deadline for NSA Scholarship Approaching
There is still time to submit applications for the National Sunflower Association’s Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship. Scholarship funds assist students who study in the field of agriculture with a special emphasis on sunflower production, promotion or research. The application deadline is April 1, 2019. This year, $5,000 is available for the scholarship. Applications can be submitted online. Click here to learn more. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with any questions.
Reserve Your Room for Summer Seminar
Circle these dates on your calendar: June 25-27, 2019. Those are the dates for this year’s NSA Summer Seminar. This year’s Summer Seminar will be held in Medora, North Dakota. A block of rooms has been reserved there. To make your reservation, click here, select hotel reservations and enter check-in and check-out dates. You also need to enter Group Code 5781. You can also call 1-800-633-6721 and ask for the NSA block of rooms. The program is being finalized now and registration will open soon. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with questions.
March/April Issue of The Sunflower Coming Soon
The March/April issue of The Sunflowerwill be arriving in your mailbox soon. This is the final issue of the 2018-19 magazine year, but we are always looking for story ideas and planning for next year. If you have any story ideas, give us a call or click here to submit them online.
Upcoming Events
March 19, 2019
NSA High Plains Committee Meeting, Goodland, KS
June 25-27, 2019
NSA Summer Seminar, Medora, ND
Old crop prices for oil sunflower continue to move higher adding 10 to 25 cents per hundredweight last week. Oil sunflower prices have remained steady throughout this winter despite the weakness in other commodities. A small 2018 US sunflower crop and good demand are supporting seed prices. New crop oil sunflower prices have also been very firm and near the levels of a year ago with oil crushers offering Act of God and cash contracts. New crop cash prices are in a range of $16.75-$17.25 for NuSun with High Oleics at $17.25-$18.00 at the crush plants. Something else to consider is the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower. Considering oil premiums that 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%; this pushes a contract with 45% oil content gross return 10% higher per cwt and would raise the value of a $18.00 base contract to $19.80 per cwt. Most fundamental news for oil has been negative the past few months putting CBoT soybean oil contracts on the defensive. The cold weather in the US this winter drove crush demand for soybean meal and pressured CBoT soyoil contracts as oil stocks started to build. Market analysts think this trend will reverse into the spring and summer months with oil prices strengthening as meal demand tapers off.Last year sunflower seed prices hit the market high in June-July. 
Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, March 18, 2019 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2019 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 32.06 29.40 29.44 +.04 30.47
Fargo, ND NuSun 17.65 17.35 17.45 +.10 17.25
Fargo, ND High Oleic 17.50 17.35 17.45 +.10 17.25
Enderlin, ND NuSun 17.55 16.95 17.20 +.25 17.15
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 17.55 17.30 17.45 +.15 17.55
Goodland, KS NuSun 17.00 16.55 16.65 +.10 16.75
Goodland, KS High Oleic 18.00 17.65 17.75 +.10 18.00
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, March 18, 2109
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 30.26 28.64 28.44 -.20
Cotton Oil (psby) 30.06 35.40 35.44 +.04
Corn Oil 34.00 30.00 30.00 NC
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