Sunflower Highlights
Post Date: May 10 2021
2021 Curtis Stern Memorial Scholarship winner announced
Shawna Prantzke
Shawna Pantzke

Shawna Pantzke is a master’s student of entomology at North Dakota State University. She earned her BA degree in biology and Spanish at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Currently, Shawna is doing research under the direction of Dr. Jarrad Prasifka and Dr. Deirdre Prischmann-Voldseth in the USDA-ARS Sunflower Entomology lab. Her research examines the thermal biology and adult emergence of the red sunflower seed weevil. This includes looking at freezing point, overwintering depths, and emergence times.
Confection processors looking to add 2021 acres
Recovering demand after Covid shutdowns has confection processors looking to add 2021 acres. Confection sunflowers have been one of the highest returns per acre options available for several years and have been setting new market highs following the current rally in grain prices. Processors are currently offering 2021 Act of God (AOG) production contracts starting at a minimum of $32 and upwards per cwt. These prices are significantly higher than the crop insurance price guarantee of $27.30 announced earlier this year. With current drought conditions across the main growing region, confections offer a good alternative for growers to consider based on lower moisture needs and input costs. In 2017, the last major drought year in the Dakotas confection sunflower did exceptionally well with yields per acre at 1,800 lbs. in North Dakota and 2,000 lbs. in South Dakota. If you have not looked into growing confection sunflowers for a few years, take another look and you’ll be surprised how this crop’s genetics have changed. Clearfield® and ExpressSun® confection hybrids are available. To talk to processors about contracting opportunities use this link: Buyers and Sellers (
Sunflower prices continue to move higher as the battle for 2021 acres continues. At the crush plants, old crop NuSun was unchanged to up 5 cents while high oleic prices were unchanged to up 60 cents in the past week. New crop NuSun prices were unchanged to up 70 cents with high oleic unchanged to up 60 cents for the week. 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 are setting up to reward that production with prices not seen since 2012. The USDA planting intentions report had producers in seven of the eight major sunflower production states expecting a decrease in sunflower acreage this year. Seed supplies are still plentiful to add acres this season. If you are concerned about the drought impacting yields, crush and confection 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. With lower than anticipated acres, diversifying market risk with some confection or oil sunflower acres is a good option in 2021.
Hybrid seed still plentiful
With the dramatic surge in new crop NuSun and high oleic sunflower prices the NSA office has received calls from growers looking for hybrid planting seed for this growing season. Drought conditions are prevalent in much of the main growing region. Many growers are looking to spread out market risk with some drought tolerant sunflower acres in their acreage mix this year. Crush plants continue to offer attractive cash and Act of God contracts for 2021 production. 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 (
Sunflower aids in dealing with salinity
If you are dealing with fields that have areas of high saline content, planting sunflower can help turn those areas around. Sunflower is a saline-tolerant crop, meaning if it is planted in a field with a large seep, sunflower would do better than other crops. Its deep root system helps the soil structure. Those deep roots help get the water out of the soil at a deeper level and remove saline areas in the field. Producers should check with their seed dealers and find out which varieties are the most salt tolerant and appropriate for their growing area. For more information, visit
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, May 10, 2021 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2021 NEW Crop
Chicago Oil Nearby 26.19 68.31 66.10 -2.21 57.07
West Fargo, ND NuSun 19.25 27.20 27.25 +.05 27.25
West Fargo, ND High Oleic 19.80 27.75 27.75 NC 27.75
Enderlin, ND NuSun 19.45 27.05 27.05 NC 27.15
Enderlin, ND High Oleic 19.75 27.55 27.55 NC 27.65
Lamar, CO High Oleic NA 26.50 27.10 +.60 27.50
U.S. CRUDE OIL VALUES recorded on Monday, May 10, 2021
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 24.69 96.31 94.10 -2.21
Cotton Oil (psby) 41.49 103.31 101.10 -2.21
Corn Oil 46.00 83.00 83.00 NC
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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