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Sunflower Harvest Ahead of Average Across Region
Minnesota Ag Connection - 11/16/2020

Sunflower harvest is ahead of average in most states, including North Dakota, where 85% of the crop is reported harvested. That compares to 66% average and 29% at this time a year ago. That's according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.

In South Dakota, the crop is 74% harvested, just slightly behind the 5-year average of 77 percent but ahead of last year's 42%.

Minnesota farmers report the 2020 sunflower harvest is complete. Last year, the harvest was only 50% complete by this time. The 5-year average is 89%.

In Kansas, farmers report 79% of the harvest is complete, slight ahead of 2019's 76% and well-ahead of the 5-year average of 67%.

Unseasonably nice November weather allowed Mott, N.D., area grower Josh Greff to get this year's sunflower harvest finished early. He finished cutting about 1,000 acres of sunflowers late last week. He says he finished harvest this year earlier than he even started last year. Greff says yields and test weights have been good, despite drought conditions.

Meanwhile, the National Sunflower Association reports that nearby NuSun and high oleic pricesat the crush plants were up 30 to 50 cents following the rally in the soy complex on the Chicago Board of Trade. Overall, NuSun and high oleic prices continue to trade above the 60 day moving average at the crush plants. 2021 new crop was up 25 to 45 cents. Very favorable weather conditions in the past week allowed sunflower producers to make good harvest progress. Harvest progress advanced 18% to 82% complete for the week ending November 8. Harvest progress remains 10% ahead of the five-year average. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 267,000 acres pushing 2020 harvested acres to about 1,251,000 acres. Harvest progress remains about one week ahead of the five year average. Last year at this same time only 40% of acres were harvested as sunflower producers faced extremely difficult harvest conditions. Per Oil World, global sunflower production for 2020/21 is forecast down 4.8 million metric tons (MMT) to 51.0 MMT from last year's total and represents a three-year low. Drought-related yield reductions in the Black Sea region and area reduction for Argentina are mostly responsible for the decrease. Given the location of the crop losses, this bears watching as international trade would assume much of the impact and could open some market opportunities. In the near term, US harvest progress, yield and crop quality will continue to be key to prices going forward.

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