Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Jan 18 2016
2015 Sunflower Crop Breaks Records
The USDA report on 2015 sunflower crop production shows record high yields in both oil-type and confection sunflower. Average yield of oil-type sunflower varieties increased by 119 pounds from 2014, to a record high 1,579 pounds per acre. The average yield of confection sunflower increased by 368 pounds from last year, to a record high 1,865 pounds per acre, more than 300 pounds per acre higher than the previous record high. For the third year in a row, South Dakota is the top sunflower-producing state. Production in South Dakota is the highest since 1999, at 1.23 billion pounds. Compared with last year, planted area in South Dakota increased 27 percent and yield increased 179 pounds to a record high 1,858 pounds per acre. Meanwhile, production in North Dakota increased 26 percent, mostly due to the increase in yield, which increased 217 pounds from last year and is the third highest on record. Record high yields were also achieved in Kansas and Nebraska. Across the nation, the 2015 sunflower production increased 32 percent from 2014. The United States average yield per acre increased 156 pounds from last year to a record high 1,625 pounds. Planted area, at 1.86 million acres, is 19 percent above last year. Area harvested increased 19 percent from last year to 1.80 million acres. For more on the USDA numbers, visit
2016 Research Requests Total Over $200,000
The National Sunflower Association received 11 research requests for 2016, totaling $228,877. The NSA Research Committee met last week to review proposals and make recommendations for the NSA Board of Directors. The NSA board will make final decisions on funding during the annual spring meeting in late February. Proposed projects include studies of insects, disease, and production. 
NSA Research Forum Attracts Large Crowd
Nearly 125 growers, industry representatives, and researchers attended the National Sunflower Association’s 38th annual Research Forum January 12-13 in Fargo, ND. Researchers from the Dakotas, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Canada presented a total of 16 papers and 16 posters. Attendees heard presentations on weeds, insects, disease, and new varieties of sunflower. All presentations will be uploaded to the NSA website in the next few weeks. 
Win an iPad!
The NSA’s High Plains committee will be giving away one iPad at each of these upcoming ag shows:
  • Cover Your Acres, Oberlin, Kansas – January 19-20
  • No-Till on the Plains, Salina, Kansas – January 26-27
  • Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, Manhattan, Kansas – January 29-30
  • CCTA Conference, Burlington, Colorado – February 2-3
For a chance to win, producers must stop by the NSA High Plains booth and register. Winners will be publicized after the shows. 
USDA gave its final estimate of the 2015 US sunflower crop last week. As expected USDA did not make big changes to the size of the US 2015 sunflower crop or carryout on their January 12 report. According to USDA, 2015 sunflower production totaled 2.92 billion pounds, up 32 percent from 2014 and up less than 1 percent from the October forecast. The 2015 crop has had excellent quality with record yields in many states. Tight stocks and two smaller than expected production years in 2013 and 2014 forced the market to ration demand and held back growth. The large 2015 oil-type sunflower crop will allow the market to rebuild product demand and expand opportunities in 2016. The world oilseed market is expected to be more oil driven in 2016 rather than meal. Oil stocks are tighter than a year ago and there are some concerns for palm oil production this year as El Nino weather reduces overall production. This scenario looks promising for high oil content seeds such as sunflower. Now that the USDA figures are out the market focus should be on South American weather and crop production prospects. 
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