Sunflower harvest isn't finished | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Sunflower harvest isn't finished

Jan 14, 2020

Credit National Sunflower Association

Just like other commodities, the sunflower harvest was delayed because of the weather.

"We still have about 20 percent of the crop that still needs to be harvested in the US," said National Sunflower Association executive director John Sandbakken. "In North Dakota, it's probably a little bit higher -- closer to that 25 to 30 percent level."

But Sandbakken said weather permitting, producers are out, trying to get the crop off. He said it now looks like the crop will be about the same size as last year.

"Based on what we had seen in October, that's still down about 23 percent from what we had anticipated," Sandbakken said. "It's just the wet conditions. And some of the crop had some disease issues, and the quality just won't be there."

Sandbakken said on the upside, the market has responded to the shorter crop yields.

"For the crop we just harvested now, prices have gone up about $2 to $2.50 per hundredweight," Sandbakken said. "On new crop for 2020, being contracted right now, prices are up about $1.50 per hundredweight."

Sandbakken said that's a six-year high for sunflowers.

"It's very positive," Sandbakken said.  "The industry is going to be aggressive to get those acres for 2020."