Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Aug 21 2017
Crop Progress
Petals have begun to dry in the Dakotas; North Dakota reports 95 percent of the sunflowers there are blooming and 10 percent have petals dry. In Minnesota, the crop continues to look good, with 91 percent of the sunflowers there rated in good to excellent condition.
Crop Progress - Monday, August 21, 2017
State This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Year Average
North Dakota        
Blooming 95 87 100 NA
Petals Dry 10 4 38 ----
South Dakota        
Blooming 80- 64 76 83
Petals Dry 6 ---- ---- ----
Blooming 70 55 80 72
Harvested NA 30 NA NA
Crop Conditions - Monday, August 21, 2017
State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 8 17 45 29 1
South Dakota 8 22 55 15 0
Minnesota 0 0 9 71 20
Colorado 2 2 14 77 5
Kansas 0 2 33 57 8
Keep Scouting for Insects
Three commonly found sunflower head infesting insects—sunflower head moth, banded moth, and seed weevils—have been found in sunflower fields in northeastern Colorado. Monitoring of sunflower and banded moth is based on use of Pheromone traps; visual observations of developing sunflower heads led to the discovery of sunflower seed weevils. It’s recommended producers scout for these insects for the next two to three weeks. Red sunflower seed weevils have also been found in the southwest and south central parts of North Dakota. For more on all of these insects, click here.
Grower Report
Harvest is well underway in Texas and Mike Williams with Red River Commodities says he’s pleased with the harvest so far. Williams says yields are good and on the confection side, seed sizes are on target.
Monitor for Sunflower Rust
This time of year, it’s important to keep an eye out for sunflower rust. Confection sunflower tend to be more susceptible to rust than oilseeds, however there are distinct resistant differences among hybrids; some are resistant and some are susceptible. If rust is found on the top of the canopy (the top four fully-expanded sunflower leaves) at 1% severity or higher in R5 (bloom) a fungicide application may be warranted. By R6 (flowering is complete) research trials have shown no benefit to a fungicide application. For more on sunflower rust, click here
Reducing Blackbird Damage
Petals are beginning to drop on sunflower and that means it is time to start thinking about blackbirds. Research finds that as much as half of the blackbird damage to ripening sunflower happens in the first two weeks after petal drop. These are blackbirds that have been reared locally and are in the process of developing their long range flying feathers. That makes these birds difficult to move, but there are always ways to lower damage, including cattail management, cannons, harassment, desiccants, and repellants. These can be even more effective when used in combination. For more on blackbird control, click here.
Upcoming Events
January 10-11, 2018NSA Research Forum, Fargo, ND
June 26-28, 2018NSA Summer Seminar, Arrowwood Resort, Alexandria, MN
Old and new crop sunflower prices were unchanged to up 20 cents this week and continue to trade above the 45-day moving average at the North Dakota crush plants. Taking into account 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 $17.60 cash price with 45% oil content gross return over $19.35 per cwt. Farmers have taken advantage of the recent rally in birdfood prices as a lot of crop was traded in the past month. Birdfood prices were as high as $22 per cwt but have since backed off into a range of $18-$19 on the increased sales. Beneficial rain was received in some of the most drought stricken areas of the Dakotas last week. Sunflower is very drought tolerant and the rain may have added on some pounds and in some cases saved the crop from being worked down. The weather forecast continues to feature generally favorable conditions throughout the Midwest with no significant hot and dry conditions during the next ten days. Weather conditions remain key as August is the most important month for oilseed crops. In addition to weather, the market will continue to trade demand news and will be closely watching yield reports from The Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour which begins today.
Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, August 21, 2017 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2017 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 33.89 32.98 33.80 +.82 34.17
Fargo, ND NuSun 18.45 17.60 17.60 NC 16.60
Enderlin, ND NuSun 18.40 17.55 17.60 +.05 16.85
Goodland, KS NuSun 16.90 15.40 15.65 +.25 17.05
Goodland, KS High Oleic 17.90 16.65 16.90 +.25 18.05
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, August 21, 2017
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 32.14 31.92 32.30 +.38
Cotton Oil (psby) 43.89 34.92 33.80 -1.12
Corn Oil 46.00 41.50 39.50 -2.00
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