Sunflower markets

Sunflower (Courtesy photo.)

Old crop NuSun and high oleic prices were down 25 cents to unchanged this week. New crop was down $1.10 to 25 cents.

Overall, traders are looking at no big surprises for the U.S. sunflower crop as the growing season concludes. Initial estimates using trend yields peg U.S. oil-type sunflower production at 1.9 billion pounds down 24% from last year with non-oil sunflower production at 263 million pounds up 10% from 2022. These yield estimates can change in the coming months, especially as harvest activity ramps up.

In October, USDA will provide its first official estimate of 2023 oil and non-oil sunflower production. This report and demand will set the tone for sunflower price direction in the near term.

Very warm to hot temperatures in the past month along with drier soil conditions have pushed the crop toward maturity in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Below average moisture conditions are expected to persist in parched areas of the Northern and High Plains for at least the next two weeks. This will likely continue accelerating crop maturation which is about equal to the 5-year average pace. If possible and if the crop has matured to a point where it can be desiccated and harvested, it is advisable to do so. Getting the crop harvested several weeks early can result in higher yields and lower drying costs. It can also reduce late season crop damage and blackbird damage.