Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Apr 11 2022
Reducing Blackbird Damage
A good strategy to reducing blackbird damage is to plant as early as possible and desiccate the crop. In many cases, producers have been about to get the cop all harvested before the birds even more in. The earliest plant date for Minnesota is April 21. In North Dakota, it is May 6 for most counties north of Highway 200 and May 11 for the remaining counties, based on the USDA RMA early planting dates. Why take a chance when it comes to blackbirds when you can have a good sunflower crop? Maximize your return by planting early and getting the crop harvested as soon as possible.
Sunflower Production Conference Video Link Available
If you missed the ‘2022 Getting-it-Right in Sunflower Production,’ video conference you can now access it on-line. Topics covered ranged from hybrid selection, what has been learned from the fall 2021 sunflower survey, plant nutrient and soil management, updates for weed, disease and insect management, and sunflower marketing. The program was conducted by North Dakota State University Extension. Recording and resources are available at, scroll to the conference video section and click the sunflower meeting link. Each individual talk has its own video clip. Additional publications and resources are available under the sunflower conference resources.
Oil Premium Paid at Crush Plants
Something else to consider when making final planting decisions is the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower. Sunflower is the only oilseed that pays premiums for oil content above 40%. Considering 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 contract with 45% oil content gross return 10% higher per cwt. The AOG $31.95 contract increases to $35.15, and the cash $33.70 contract moves up to $37.10. See for yourself how the oil premium can add to the bottom line by going to: Oil Premium Calculator (
Traders are still chattering about USDA’s March 31 report which had producers planting much lower acres than expected by the trade. USDA pegged a 10% increase in planted acres from 2021 while traders wanted to see a 20-25% increase in acres. With crop insurance prices of $32.40 for oils and $40.50 for confections plus new crop prices at record highs it seems like a no-brainer to plant sunflowers this year. Market analysts expect the acreage discussion to continue into the foreseeable future as the battle for acres continues. The March report gave farmers a look at what others are thinking of planting this year. There is still time to adjust your plans to take advantage of the market opportunities that drought tolerant sunflowers can offer.  Dry soil conditions are spreading and intensifying in some parts of the Dakotas. Something to consider is how well sunflowers performed in last year’s severe drought. Crush plants are still offering Act of God (AOG) contracts for fall delivery.  These ‘fail safe’ contracts have become very popular with farmers throughout the production region.  It provides an opportunity to ‘lock in’ attractive prices now for fall delivery and removes that all important factor of ‘yield risk’ when uncertain growing conditions exist. Late season planted crops like sunflower can perform well and markets will reward that production. With lower than anticipated acres, diversifying market risk with some sunflower acres would be a good option in 2022.
Work safely around grain
People who work with grain—loading it, unloading it and moving it from bin to bin—need to know about the hazards of flowing grain and how to prevent a grain entrapment situation. People can become trapped in grain in three different ways: the collapse of bridged grain, the collapse of a vertical wall of grain and entrapment in flowing grain. Moving or flowing grain is involved in all three. Here are some general safety precautions:
  • Don’t let children work or play in an area where there is flowing grain.
  • All workers involved in a situation where there is flowing grain should be warned to stay out of the grain
  • Warning decals should be placed at all bin entrances, on all rail cars, truck and trailer boxes used for grain hauling and on all gravity discharge wagons.
  • Never enter a grain bin without stopping the auger first and using “lock-out/tag-out” procedures to secure it.
  • Never enter a grain bin alone; have at least two people at the bin to assist in case problems arise. Use a safety harness or safety line when entering the bin.
  • Install a permanent lifeline hanging from the center of the bin for a person to grab on to.
  • Control the access to grain storage facilities to prevent grain entrapments.
For more information, check out the NDSU publication “Caught in the Grain.” It’s available here:
Upcoming Events
June 28-30, 2022 - NSA Summer Seminar; Grand Forks, ND
Markets at a Glance
Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, April 11, 2022 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2022 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 51.45 72.34 74.30 +1.96 68.19
West Fargo, ND NuSun 22.95 38.00 38.00 NC 32.65
West Fargo, ND High Oleic 23.70 38.50 38.50 NC 33.65
Enderlin, ND NuSun 23.40 38.00 38.00 NC 32.70
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 24.15 38.50 38.50 NC 33.70
Lamar, CO High Oleic 23.00 38.50 38.50 NC 33.20
U.S. CRUDE OIL VALUES recorded on Monday, April 11, 2022
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 71.45 80.34 84.30 +3.96
Cotton Oil (pbsy) 86.45 102.34 104.30 +1.96
Corn Oil 79.00 113.00 152.00 +39.00

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.
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