According to the USDA Planting Intentions Report, U.S. sunflower growers intend to plant a total of 1.79 million acres in 2015, up 14% from last year. Area intended for oil type varieties, at 1.49 million acres, is up 27% from 2014. The area intended for non-oil varieties, estimated at 301,000 acres, is down 23% from last year.
John Sandbakken, National sunflower Association executive director, says that based on historical data, the market should be able to absorb 15-20% more acres of sunflowers without depressing prices. However, world weather and sunflower production and global demand will likely drive prices in the months again.USDA also reported sunflower stocks in all positions as of March 1. Seed stocks totaled 696 million pounds, down 14% from March 1, 2014. All stocks stored on farms totaled 257 million pounds and off-farm stocks totaled 439 million pounds. Stocks of oil type sunflower seed are 503 million pounds; of this total, 195 million pounds are on-farm stocks and 308 million pounds are off-farm stocks. Non-oil sunflower stocks totaled 193 million pounds, with 61.4 million pounds stored on the farm and 131 million pounds stored off the farm.