Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Mar 25 2019
Deadline for NSA Scholarship Approaching
There is still time to submit applications for the National Sunflower Association’s Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship. Scholarship funds assist students who study in the field of agriculture with a special emphasis on sunflower production, promotion or research. The application deadline is April 1, 2019. This year, $5,000 is available for the scholarship. Applications can be submitted online. Click here to learn more. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with any questions.
Reserve Your Room for Summer Seminar
Circle these dates on your calendar: June 25-27, 2019. Those are the dates for this year’s NSA Summer Seminar. This year’s Summer Seminar will be held in Medora, North Dakota. A block of rooms has been reserved there. To make your reservation, visit, select hotel reservations and enter check-in and check-out dates. You also need to enter Group Code 5781. You can also call 1-800-633-6721 and ask for the NSA block of rooms. The program is being finalized now and registration will open soon. Contact Tina Mittelsteadt at with questions.
Planter Considerations
As sunflower planting approaches for the major production region, it is important to take a close look at planter condition and settings. Achieving the perfect plant stand is one of the most critical challenges for growers each year. The NSA website offers a series of tutorial videos featuring John Smith, Agricultural Engineer with the University of Nebraska at Scottsbluff. Smith conducted seed placement tests on oil sunflower and large seeded confections using a variety of metering and planter types. Click here to view his observations and recommendations for calibration and adjustments to achieve excellent plant spacing.
On Friday, USDA will release its March 1 stocks and 2019 planted acres by crop reports. The Prospective Plantings report will provide the initial indication of potential acreage levels for spring crops and will set the tone for production potential as we move into planting season. Most private firms look for corn and spring wheat acres to increase from last year. Private estimates have 2019 soybean acres at around 85 million acres. If producers do match this estimate it would be the third largest soybean planted acreage on record. The current soybean/corn ratio is still in favor of soybean and traders are concerned that farmers will not reduce acres sufficiently to prevent a further increase in soybean stocks that will create an even more burdensome level next season. If planted soybean acres reach this level and the US-China trade war remains unresolved it will be a huge drag on soybean prices. Oil sunflower prices have remained steady throughout this winter despite the weakness in other commodities. The 2018 sunflower crop was smaller than expected and good demand has supported prices. New crop oil sunflower prices have also been very firm and near the levels of a year ago with oil crushers offering Act of God and cash contracts. Industry members are expecting oil sunflower acres to show an increase from 2018. Confection sunflower acres are expected to be equal to or slightly higher than last year.
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