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You Are Here Growers > Marketing > Week in Review

July 27, 2015


One-quarter of North Dakota's sunflower are blooming, that's well ahead of last year and the average there as well. 74 percent of the flowers there are rated in good to excellent condition. Meanwhile, South Dakota's sunflower crop is just starting to bloom, slightly behind last year at this time. In Minnesota, sunflower condition rated 61 percent good to excellent. And in Texas, planting is complete, right in line with last year.

CROP PROGRESS as of July 27, 2015
  This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Yr. Avg
25 8 3 12
98 95 95 ---
9 --- 16 15
100 98 100 99
96 90 95 97
14 9 15 19
Source: USDA NASS (not all states reporting)

as of July 27, 2015
  Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 0 8 18 66 8
South Dakota 0 2 27 68 3
Minnesota 0 2 37 54 7
Colorado 0 2 24 50 24
Kansas 1 2 27 61 9
Source: USDA NASS (not all states reporting)


Researchers at the USDA-ARS Northern Crop Science Lab in Fargo have received a grant from Genome Canada to investigate why wild sunflower plants are more resistant to environmental stresses. Dr. Loren H. Rieseberg of the University of British Columbia and John Burke of University of Georgia are leading an international team in the project. Researchers at USDA-ARS will be providing the plant breeding and field experimental design expertise for the whole project and will be directly working on flooding tolerance studies to discover genes responsible for improvement in seedling flooding tolerance. The project will identify and fully characterize the genetic basis of stress resistance in sunflowers and create resources to give sunflower breeders from the public and private sectors access to stress-resistant, high-yield cultivars within four years of the project's end. The team will also develop models to predict likely yields of the new cultivars in different soil and climate conditions.


The recent hot weather and sunny skies were exactly what Scott Nelson's sunflower crop needed. Nelson, who farms near Lakota in northeastern North Dakota, says his 200 acres of oils and confections look good - they've started blooming and he hasn't had any issues with insects or diseases. He says if anything, they need to dry out a bit from the rainy weather earlier this growing season.


A sunflower surveying training session will be held on Thursday, September 3 at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center from 12:30-3:30. The annual REC row crop tour will follow the sunflower training. The training will include discussion about identifying sunflower disease, insect damage, weeds, as well as hands on training in the field. To sign up for the training, email


Bob Weigelt has joined the NSA Board of Directors. Bob started with DuPont in Great Falls, MT in 1979. Since 1981, he has covered central and western North Dakota for DuPont as a Sales and Service Representative. Bob grew up on a wheat and sunflower farm in Fessenden, ND and has an Agronomy degree from NDSU. Welcome to the board, Bob!


Producers should be on the lookout for sunflower moths and banded sunflower moths. The most recent NDSU Crop & Pest Report says sunflower moths were captured in pheromone traps in a widely distributed area located in Richland County in SE, Foster County in Central, Ward and McHenry Counties in NC and Golden Valley County in SW. Since female moths lay eggs on the face of sunflower heads, insecticide should be applied in early flowering (R5.1-R5.3). Increasing numbers of banded sunflower moths have also been reported in traps in North Dakota. Sunflowers should be scouted for banded sunflower moth eggs or adult moths when most of the plants in the field are at plant stage R3. Here are some things to keep in mind when scouting:
  • Scout in the early morning or evening when moths are active.
  • Sampling sites should be 75 to 100 feet from the field margins.
  • Use the X pattern to monitor fields.
  • Count moths on 20 plants per sampling site - that will give you the total number of moths per 100 plants.

Insects from both species damage crops when they tunnel through the seeds. Larvae may consume part or all of the contents of the developing seed, which causes significant, yield losses. For more information, visit


September 3, 2015 - NDSU REC Row Crop Tour, Carrington, ND
January 12-13, 2016 - NSA Research Forum, Fargo, ND
June 28-30, 2016 - 2016 NSA Summer Seminar, Bismarck, ND


Overall it was a rough week for all commodities as gains made earlier this month evaporated. Improving weather in the Midwest, slow new crop demand versus last year due to stronger US dollar, and trade thoughts of increased crop ratings this week were the main factors in the downtrend in prices. A general stabilization of world weather has led to a wide-ranging slide in world commodity prices adding further pressure. Oilseeds are moving into their most important reproductive timeframe between now and the first week of September with what appears to be non-threatening weather. Traders are also keeping an eye on China and Europe as disappointing economic data has raised concerns about their demand for world commodities. For the most part sunflower prices at the crush plants have followed the action on the CBoT. Birdfood prices have picked up the past few weeks as plants try to purchase the last remaining old crop stocks. August and September are historically strong months for birdfood prices as plants gear up for the winter sales season. Weather forecasts and US dollar movement will likely determine price direction in the week ahead.
For sunflower prices at various locations refer to our website Daily Market News.

Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, July 27, 2015 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change 2015 New Crop
  Chicago Oil          
  Nearby 36.52 31.68 30.11 -1.57 30.48
  Fargo, ND          
  NuSun 19.00 22.00 21.30 -.70 18.05
  Enderlin, ND          
  NuSun 19.00 23.30 22.95 -.35 18.20
  Goodland, KS          
  NuSun 17.60 18.65 18.25 -.40 18.25

recorded on Monday, July 27, 2015
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 37.02 31.18 29.36 -1.82
Cotton Oil (pbsy) 71.52 48.68 47.11 -1.57
Corn Oil 40.50 43.00 43.00 NC
Prices recorded here are believed to be reliable at the time of publication. Individual companies have the right to correct any errors that may occur. Contact these facilities for complete market details

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