Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Apr 26 2021
NSA Website Provides Helpful Information for Producers
Have questions about growing sunflowers? You’ll find the answers to your questions on our website! Visit and click on the “Growers” section – you will find answers to frequently asked questions there as well as links to more information about many important topics, including approved chemicals, production, marketing, crop insurance, and more.
Reducing Blackbird Damage
As producers gear up for planting, now is a good time to think about blackbirds and reducing the damage they could cause to this year’s sunflower crop. USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services recommends not planting sunflower in close proximity to large cattail sloughs (blackbird roosts) if at all possible. If you do plant close to cattails, consider spraying cattails with glyphosate in accordance with the label, or mowing cattails if possible. Something else to consider is developing roads or trails in larger fields (quarter or more) to allow access to the middle of fields. Birds always go to the center of the field where you can’t reach them. Trails or roads allow you many more locations and better accessibility to move blackbirds out of the field and reduce losses.  You can find more tips to reduce blackbird damage on our website:
Planting seed still plentiful
The NSA office has received calls from growers looking for hybrid planting seed for this growing season. Seed supplies are still plentiful and there is still time to place an order to put in some acres this growing season. Hybrid seed suppliers can be found using this link: Buyers and Sellers ( Spread out market risk with some sunflower acres in your rotation this year.
Drought is spreading and intensifying in the Dakotas. There is still time to adjust your plans to take advantage of the market opportunities that drought tolerant sunflowers can offer. Late season planted crops like sunflower can perform well and markets will reward that production. The USDA planting intentions report had producers in seven of the eight major sunflower production states expecting a decrease in sunflower acreage this year. The report showed planting of oil-type acres much lower than expected by the trade. With lower than anticipated acres, diversifying market risk with some oil sunflower acres could be a good option in 2021. Seed supplies are still plentiful to add acres this season. If you are concerned about the drought impacting yields, 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 like this year. Additionally, vegetable oil prices have hit multi-year highs in 2021, lifted by a mix of production interruptions, recovering food consumption and an upbeat outlook for biofuel demand. The strong global vegetable oil prices and the possibility of less acres being planted later this spring are providing positive forward momentum to old and new crop NuSun and high oleic prices.
Sunflower Oil Exports Decrease
U.S. sunflower oil exports in the first five months of the marketing year stand at 16,422 metric tons (MT) a decrease of 2,865 MT from the same time a year ago. Increased domestic usage is the leading factor to the decline in exports. Canada remains the top importer of U.S. sunflower oil. From October 2020 to February 2021, Canada imported 8,768 MT of sunflower oil, compared to 10,300 MT from October 2019 to February 2020. Mexico is the second leading importer of U.S. sunflower oil; Mexico has imported 3,322 MT of sunflower oil so far this marketing year, which is down from 5,824 MT during the same time frame a year ago.
Planting considerations
As sunflower planting approaches for the major production region, it is important to take a close look at planter conditions 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. His observations and recommendations for calibration and adjustments to achieve excellent plant spacing can be viewed online at
Upcoming Events
August 26, 2021 - NSA High Plains Committee Meeting; Goodland, KS
January 12-13, 2022 - NSA Research Forum; Holiday Inn, Fargo, ND
Markets at a Glance
Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, April 26, 2021 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2021 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 24.99 56.27 65.21 +8.94 52.00
West Fargo, ND NuSun 19.00 24.40 26.50 +2.10 26.20
West Fargo, ND High Oleic 19.65 25.40 27.30 +1.90 26.95
Enderlin, ND NuSun 19.45 24.50 26.15 +1.65 26.25
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 19.75 25.25 26.90 +1.65 27.00
Lamar, CO High Oleic NA 24.20 25.50 +1.30 25.90
U.S. CRUDE OIL VALUES recorded on Monday, April 26, 2021
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 24.04 76.27 90.21 +13.94
Cotton Oil (psby) 40.61 91.27 100.21 +8.94
Corn Oil 46.00 79.00 79.00 UNCH
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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