Dakota Farmer

Sunflower yields looking good

Sunflower Extra: Prospected yields are rated good to excellent this season.

John Sandbakken, Executive director

August 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Hand holding sunflower seeds
UP AND DOWN: While U.S. production of sunflower is trending down, global sunflower production is up — and high yields are forecasted for the 2023 growing season. Nagaiets/Getty Images

Throughout the growing season, most of the sunflower crop has been rated as good to excellent in Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. This should mean yields will be above trend, assuming normal weather through the rest of this fall and the lack of an early freeze.

The exception to this has been Kansas, where drought has most of the crop rated in fair condition with yields likely to be impacted. Overall, most market analysts are expecting U.S. sunflower yields to be above the five-year average this year.

Per USDA, the area planted to oil-type sunflower varieties is estimated at 1.18 million acres, which is down 24% from 2022. Harvested area for oil types is expected to decrease 23% from last year to 1.14 million acres. Planted acreage of non-oil varieties, estimated at 164,000 acres, is up 15% from last year.

Harvested area is expected to increase 20% from last year to 153,500 acres. USDA estimates total 2023-24 sunflower production at 2.3 billion pounds, which would represent a decrease of 18% from last year’s production. Oil-type sunflower production is pegged at 2 billion pounds, down 22% from last year. Non-oil sunflower production at 266 million pounds is up 10% from 2022.

USDA will provide its updated yield and production estimates for sunflowers in October. 

Global production rising

USDA increased global sunflower seed production in the 2023-24 marketing year to 55.8 million metric tons due to higher production in Argentina, Russia and Ukraine. In Ukraine, farmers planted more sunflower than anticipated.

Traders will be monitoring this region closely during harvest, as Ukraine is the second-largest sunflower producer in the world. Ukrainian sunflower production estimates remain murky due to the ongoing war but are anticipated to be 40% lower than prewar production. Global sunflower seed ending stocks are expected to decrease by 7% in the 2023-24 marketing year.

With the higher global seed supply, the 2023-24 global sunflower crush is forecasted to reach a record 51 MMT on higher crush volumes in Argentina, Russia and Ukraine — slightly above the 2022-23 marketing year.

Global sunflower oil production is expected to be 21.47 MMT. Despite the higher global supply of sunflower oil, global sunflower oil stocks are projected to be 2.9 MMT by the end of September 2024, which is marginally higher than last year.

Oil exports to China, India and other countries are expected to rebound from reduced levels experienced in the 2022-23 marketing year to more normal quantities. This is good news for high oil-bearing crops such as sunflowers.

U.S. sunflower oil export supplies have tightened recently and will only improve when new-crop supplies start moving to the crush plants in the coming months.

In preparation for harvest, producers are cleaning out storage bins, and deliveries to crush plants have been on the increase. This along with new-crop deliveries could pressure prices in the near term.

To keep up with price movement, visit sunflowernsa.com or follow on Twitter @NatlSunflower.

Sandbakken is executive director of the National Sunflower Association.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

John Sandbakken

Executive director, National Sunflower Association

John Sandbakken of Mandan, N.D., has been the executive director of the National Sunflower Association since 2012. Before his current post, he was NSA's international marketing director for 16 years.

The National Sunflower Association is a combination of United States sunflower growers and industry members. NSA is a nonprofit organization working in the areas of market development, education, production and utilization research.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like