Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Oct 10 2017
Crop Progress
Harvest is underway in most reporting states, including Minnesota where 6 percent of the crop is reported harvested. Also in Minnesota, 84 percent of the sunflower crop is reported in good to excellent condition.
Crop Progress - Tuesday, October 10, 2017
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Bracts Yellow  98 94 94 ----
Mature 81 65 84 78
Harvested 4 2 11 12
South Dakota        
Petals Dry 98 94 93 ----
Bracts Yellow 85 74 81 90
Mature 62 39 63 ----
Harvested 10 ---- 13 12
Harvested 6 0 36 32
Petals Dry 88 83 90 92
Bracts Yellow 77 69 79 79
Mature 55 44 60 ----
Harvested 4 3 9 11
Harvested 59 55 60 60
Crop Conditions - Tuesday, October 10, 2017
State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 8 16 39 35 2
South Dakota 4 21 47 25 3
Minnesota 0 1 15 62 22
Colorado 1 5 21 55 18
Kansas 1 3 34 50 12
Reduce the Risk of Combine Fires
Sunflower is an oil-based crop, and fine fibers from sunflower seeds pose a constant fire hazard, especially when conditions are dry. To help reduce the risk this harvest season be sure to keep a clean work area when harvesting sunflower. Blow the combine and grain dryer setup with an air hose daily. Also, try nighttime harvesting, when humidity levels are higher. And keep a small pressure sprayer filled with water on hand in the combine. For more information, click here.
On October 12, USDA will issue its first production estimate of the 2017 sunflower crop.  This report will be key to prices going forward. The biggest unknown for this year has been the drought impact on production in the Dakotas, the largest sunflower producers. A significant drop off in yield will impact the market and buyers are anxious to see where USDA pegs 2017 sunflower production prospects before making longer term purchases. USDA released its ending stocks report last month with old crop sunflower stocks in all positions totaling 649 million pounds, up 57 percent from a year ago. This will give the market some cushion as we head into the 2017/18 marketing year. But then again initial estimates peg the US sunflower crop at around 800,000 metric tons, which compares to last year’s total of 1.2 million metric tons. If realized this level of production will create very tight ending stocks at the end of the 2017/18 marketing year despite the larger carryover seed stocks reported by USDA. Last week sunflower harvest started on acres that were desiccated and many more acres are maturing quickly. Freezing temperatures were observed in some sunflower production areas with more anticipated next week in the Northern Plains as a cold front moves through the region early next week. This should speed up dry down and allow harvest to proceed.
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