Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo courtesy of Amberlyn Brown.)

Nearby prices at the crush plants were down 25 to 50 cents this week.

About 15% of sunflowers were in the bin as of last week, up from 7% seven days earlier and slightly behind the five-year average for this time of year. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 86,525 acres pushing 2023 harvested acres to about 176,000 acres. Harvest progress remains slightly behind last year at this same time.

Last week U.S. Department of Agriculture pegged 2023 sunflower production at 2.19 billion pounds, down 22% from the revised 2022 production of 2.81 billion pounds. USDA cut 1.77 million pounds from 2022 oil sunflower production but added 455,000 pounds to non-oil type production from last year.

Acreage updates were made in several states. Area planted, at 1.32 million acres, is down 2% from the June estimate and down 22% from last year. Sunflower growers expect to harvest 1.26 million acres, down 2% from the June forecast and down 21% from 2022.

The overall average yield for all sunflower types is forecast at 1,738 pounds per acre, is only 13 pounds lower than last year’s yield and will be the third highest on record for the U.S., if realized. The forecasted production in North Dakota would make it the leading sunflower producing state this year at 1.08 billion pounds, a decrease of 20% from 2022. The next estimates will be released in early January