Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: May 28 2019
Crop Progress
Minnesota producers are more than half done with sunflower planting; 52 percent of the sunflower crop there is reported planted, which is behind last year's 75% at this time. North Dakota growers are 21 percent finished, but growers in South Dakota and Colorado have not started planting yet.
Crop Progress - Tuesday, May 28, 2019
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Planted 21 8 33 39
Emerged 1 --- 3 ---
South Dakota        
Planted --- --- 26 19
Planted --- --- 8 7
Planted 2 1 15 7
Planted 52 26 75 65
USDA Announces Tariff Aid Payments
Sunflower is included in the plan for 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments announced by USDA last week. Payment will be based on a single county rate for all covered commodities multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to all crops in aggregate in 2019. The per acre payments are not dependent on the crops that are planted in 2019 to not influence planting decisions. Each county will be assigned an MFP payment rate based on historical production. USDA did not release information on payment rates when announcing the program. All growers in a county will receive the same rate, regardless of the eligible crop grown.  Payments will be based on reported planted acres for 2019 which cannot exceed 2018 plantings.
Still Plenty of Time to Plant Sunflower
As the optimal planting window is closing on some crops, there is still time to take advantage of the market opportunities that sunflowers can offer.  Late season planted crops like sunflower can be planted until late June and can perform well with the markets rewarding that production. Final planting dates for crop insurance purposes in North Dakota are June 10 or 15; South Dakota is June 15 or 20 and all of Minnesota is June 15. In the High Plains final dates in Colorado are June 15, 20 or 25; Nebraska is June 15 or 20 and all of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are June 25. The actual final date that sunflowers can be planted is anywhere from 20 to 25 days after this date depending on the county. To find the final planting date by county click here.
Grower Report
Mohall, ND producer Jeff Oberholtzer is nearly 35% finished with sunflower planting. He plans to plant about 1,600 acres of NuSun sunflowers on his north central ND farm. Oberholtzer says about a half inch of rain fell on Friday, but before that, there had been no measurable rain in the area all spring. But, he says, they did get some snow at the end of April and the subsoil moisture was good, despite the lack of rain. 
Summer Seminar Rate Increases June 3
If you haven’t registered for the 2019 NSA Summer Seminar, do it now before the price goes up? Registration is $325 and golf is $145, but both increase on June 3. Registration will be $375; golf will be $170 on June 3.  Registration at the door will be $425 and golf will be $195. This year’s Summer Seminar will be held in Medora, North Dakota June 26-27, 2019. You can register on our website – click here. You’ll find our schedule too, as well as hotel information and more. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with questions.
Reducing Blackbird Damage
A good strategy to reducing blackbird damage is to plant as early as possible and desiccate the crop. In many cases, producers have been able to get the crop all harvested before the birds even move in. The earliest plant dates have passed for North Dakota and Minnesota, so there is no need to wait to plant this year’s sunflower crop. Why take a chance when it comes to blackbirds when you can have a good sunflower crop by planting early? Maximize your return by planting early and getting it harvested as soon as possible. Cash and Act of God contracts are still available at the plants.
Upcoming Events
June 25-27, 2019NSA Summer Seminar, Medora, ND
January 8-9, 2020: NSA Research Forum, Holiday Inn, Fargo, ND
Last week’s USDA announcement on the latest trade aid payment package surprised traders. The trade had expected to learn separate payment rates for soybeans, hogs, corn, and other crops rather than the announced direct payments that are not tied to a specific crop but rather to aggregate planted acres. The announcement of another $14.5 billion in direct payments left traders feeling anxious that the current US-China trade war will drag on. The markets continue to closely watch near-term weather forecasts, which suggest planting progress will struggle to make significant inroads through at least the end of May.Spring rains may continue to hamper planting progress as the latest precipitation maps from NOAA shows most of the Midwest and Plains could see another 1” to 4” through May 30. Traders expect a big acreage shift to soybeans as spring planting progresslags in the key corn producing states. Sunflower prices ended the week mixed. Old crop NuSun was up 10 to 20 cents with high oleic unchanged to up 10 cents. New crop NuSun was unchanged with high oleic down 15 cents to unchanged. Sunflower planting is underway in all states and is behind last year at this same time and the five-year average. Drier weather conditions are forecast for the Dakotas and Minnesota and should allow for good planting progress. With oilseed planting well under way the markets will begin to trade US weather and crop progress conditions to a greater degree.
Weekly Prices Recorded on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2019 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 31.21 27.50 27.29 -.21 29.74
Fargo, ND NuSun 18.15 17.10 17.30 +.20 16.55
Fargo, ND High Oleic 18.05 17.60 17.60 NC 16.65
Enderlin, ND NuSun 18.10 17.00 17.10 +.10 16.40
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 18.10 17.40 17.50 +.10 16.60
Goodland, KS NuSun 17.20 16.30 16.40 +.10 16.85
Goodland, KS High Oleic 18.20 17.40 17.50 +.10 18.10
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 Tuesday, May 28, 2109
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 29.41 26.90 27.69 +.79
Cotton Oil (psby) 30.21 36.50 36.29 -.21
Corn Oil 34.00 29.00 29.00 NC
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