Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Sep 08 2020
Crop progress
Sunflowers in North Dakota are ahead of where they were a year ago: 82% of the state's crop are in the petals dry stage, well ahead of 57% last year. Bracts turned yellow was 48%, well ahead of 23% last year and 10% of the state's  sunflowers are mature, ahead of 3% last year.
Crop Progress - Tuesday, September 8, 2020
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Petals Dry 82 65 57 77
Bracts Yellow 48 29 23 44
Mature 10 3 3 9
Harvested 50 47 54 45
Crop Conditions - Tuesday, September 8, 2020
State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 4 8 30 52 6
Minnesota 3 4 17 69 7
Colorado 8 33 42 16 1
Pre-harvest desiccant information available
Getting the sunflower crop off early with the aid of a desiccant can pay good dividends. If you’re thinking about desiccating your sunflowers to get an earlier start on harvest this fall, there is some important pre-harvest desiccant information available on our website you may want to check out first. Find that information here
Sunflower stem diseases
A visit to sunflower fields at this time of year can provide information on what diseases you might face in future years. This is particularly true with stem diseases. Two stem diseases – charcoal rot and verticillium wilt – tend to be more common in dry years, while Phoma, Phomopsis and Sclerotinia stalk rot tend to be more common in years with adequate or excessive moisture. Click here and here to learn more about these and other diseases.
Sunflower prices were unchanged last week at the crush plants with old and new crop remaining at levels set in August. Very warm to hot temperatures in the past month along with drier soil conditions has pushed the crop toward maturity in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Below average moisture conditions are expected to persist in the parched Northern and High Plains for at least the next two weeks. This will likely continue accelerating crop maturation which is ahead of the five-year average pace. If possible and if the crop has matured to a point where it can be desiccated and harvested this month, it is advisable to do so. Getting the crop harvested several weeks early can result in higher yields and lower drying costs. It can also reduce late season crop damage and blackbird damage. On the plus side, most of the crop in the Dakotas and Minnesota 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.  In October, USDA will provide its first estimate of 2020 oil and non-oil sunflower production. This report and demand news will set the tone for new crop sunflower price direction in the near term.
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