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Sunflower Harvest Well Ahead of Average Across Region
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/21/2020

The U.S. sunflower harvest is well ahead of average in many states, reports the National Sunflower Association based on reports from USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.

North Dakota reports 44% of the sunflower crop harvested; that's compared to a five-year average of 22%.

South Dakota harvest is running a bit ahead, at 26%, compared to the five-year average of 22%.

In Minnesota, the pace is nearly double the five-year average of 39% with farmers reporting this year's harvest at 77% as of Sunday.

Kansas farmers report sunflower harvest at 38% completed, ahead of the five-year average of 22%.

Colorado sunflower harvest is at 68%, compared to 28% for the five-year average, while no update was provided from the Texas harvest. The previous week, the harvest was at 73%, the same as the five-year average.

Meanwhile, in the marketplace, nearby prices at the crush plants were mixed at down 10 to up 5 cents this week. 2021 new crop moved down 10 cents. About 40% of sunflowers were in the bin as of last week, up from 25% seven days earlier and well ahead of the prior five-year average of 22% for this time of year, the USDA said. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 234,000 acres pushing 2020 harvested acres to about 616,000 acres. Harvest progress remains about two weeks ahead of the five-year average and four weeks ahead of last year at this same time. However, several snow events this week in parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota could slow harvest for a few days.

Last week, USDA pegged 2020 sunflower production at 2.81 billion pounds, up 44 percent from the revised 2019 production of 1.96 billion pounds. USDA added 19 million pounds to 2019 oil sunflower production and shaved off 6.6 million pounds from non-oil production. Area planted, at 1.70 million acres, is up 26 percent from last year. US sunflower growers are expected to harvest 1.62 million acres, up 29 percent from last year. The overall average yield for all sunflower types is forecast, at 1,730 pounds per acre. This is 170 pounds higher than last year's yield and will be just one pound less than the record high average yield on record, if realized. Harvest progress, yield and crop quality will be key to prices going forward.

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