Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo courtesy of Amberlyn Brown.)

A widespread killing freeze occurred in many areas of the sunflower growing region ending the 2023 growing season. The majority of the crop was mature or close to maturity when the freeze occurred. If sunflowers were not mature there could be some reduction in yield, test weight, oil content and discolored seed coats.

At this point it’s too early to determine if the freeze resulted in crop quality issues, more will be known as harvest progresses. Sunflower harvest has started in the Dakotas and Minnesota. In Texas, harvest continues to move along ahead of the five-year average. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 40,445 acres pushing 2023 harvested acres to about 90,625 acres. This represents 7% of this year’s projected harvested acres and is slightly behind last year at this same time.

At the crush plants the October and November contracts were unchanged to up 40 cents this week. Traders are eagerly awaiting to see U.S. Department Agriculture’s first estimate of 2023 U.S. harvested sunflower acres and total seed production that will be released this week. The market is expecting to see much lower seed production based on reduced harvested acres this year.

This report along with actual harvest reports will set the tone for nearby sunflower price direction in the near term. The market will also be keeping tabs on the latest geopolitical conflicts in both the Middle East and Black Sea region. Events taking place could cause energy and grain prices to move higher.