Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: Apr 05 2021
Production Resource Books available on NSA website
As you plan for spring planting, there is helpful information on our website for producers. Visit Production Resource Books ( for the growers section of our website; check out the Sunflower Production Resource Book for your area. The books provide guidelines and recommendations on production practices, pest identification, field selection and more.
Planter considerations for producers
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. Visit to view his observations and recommendations for calibration and adjustments to achieve excellent plant spacing.
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. Visit for more tips to reduce blackbird damage.
USDA released its first estimate of 2021 planted acres. Sunflower growers intend to plant 1.22 million acres in 2021, down 29 percent from 2020. Compared with last year, growers in seven of the eight major sunflower producing states expect a decrease in sunflower acreage this year. Area intended for oil type varieties, at 1.08 million acres, is down 28 percent from 2020. Prices surged after the planting intentions report showed growers planting much lower acres than expected by the trade. Old crop gained $1.10-$1.40 with new crop adding 85 cents to $1.00 at the ND crush plants. Area intended for non-oil varieties, estimated at 137,000 acres, is down 40 percent from last year and is in line with most traders’ thoughts. Soybean planted area for all purposes in 2021 is estimated at 87.6 million acres, up 5 percent or 4.5 million acres from last year. The trade’s expectation was 90 million. Corn planted area for 2021 is estimated at 91.1 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Spring wheat acreage is expected to be trimmed to 11.7 million acres, down 4% from last year, with durum dropping 9% from last year to 1.54 million acres. The March acreage and grain stocks reports will guide the market as we head into the planting season. It will also give farmers a look at what others are thinking of planting this year and may adjust their plans.
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