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You Are Here Growers > Marketing > Week in Review

July 28, 2014


Sunflower harvest is underway in Texas, and in the Dakotas, the crop is beginning to bloom - South Dakota reports 18% of the crop is blooming, that's ahead of last year and the five year average. Blooms are a little behind in North Dakota, but the crop conditions there are rated 79% good to excellent.

CROP PROGRESS as of August 18, 2014
  This Week Last Week Last Year 5 Yr. Avg
77% 44% 66% 79%
69% 42% 66% 76%
57% 44% 63% 71%
37% 29% 9% 6%
Source: USDA NASS (not all states reporting)

as of August 18, 2014
  Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
North Dakota 0 1 16 70 13
South Dakota 1 1 25 69 4
Kansas 3 5 33 51 8
Colorado 3 21 27 42 7
Minnesota 0 7 54 32 7
Source: USDA NASS (not all states reporting)


Sunflower conditions are, for the most part, good in northeastern North Dakota. That's according to Scott Nelson, who has about 100 acres of sunflowers planted near Lakota, ND. His acres are down a bit this year, but his flowers withstood heavy rain and strong winds last week without any damage. Nelson says he hasn't seen any sunflowers blooming in the area yet, but says they will be soon - most are in the early bud stage.


Producers should be on the look out for sunflower moths and banded sunflower moths. The most recent NDSU Crop & Pest Report says one to two sunflower moths per trap per week were detected in traps in Golden Valley, Stark, and Cass counties in North Dakota. 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 on sunflower moth, visit


USDA scientists have discovered two genes that protect sunflowers against rust disease. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) molecular geneticist Lili Qi at the agency's Sunflower and Plant Biology Research Unit in Fargo, ND, and her collaborators discovered that the genes, R13a and R13b, confer resistance against all rust strains tested to date. Her collaborators include Tom Gulya and Brent Hulke at the ARS Fargo unit, and Li Gong and Sam Markell with NDSU. The R13a gene was found in the confection sunflower line called HA-R6, while the R13b gene was in the oilseed line RHA 397. The USDA inbred line HA-R6 is one of the few confection sunflower lines resistant to rust. In an annual field survey conducted by the NDSU Cooperative Extension Service and the National Sunflower Association, sunflower rust was found in 60 to 70 percent of surveyed fields. Kernels infected by rust can be damaged and discolored and are therefore unlikely to meet grading standards established by the industry for confection sunflower seeds. The rust resistant lines should be very useful to breeders who want to develop rust-resistant commercial sunflower hybrids.


The USDA/Wildlife Services program is recruiting to hire a highly motivated, part-time seasonal employee to assist sunflower producers who have problems with blackbirds damaging their crop. The work will be conducted in a multi-county area that includes Burleigh, Emmons, Logan, and McIntosh counties in North Dakota. The project begins in mid-August and will continue through the harvest. Anyone who is interested in this position should contact Phil Mastrangelo at 701-355-3301.


Sign up now to get a link to a digital copy of our magazine, The Sunflower. The Sunflower is published six times a year and each issue includes popular features like grower profiles, sunflower research, market commentary, sunflower briefs, and more. It's easy to sign up. Visit our website at, click "sign up" and follow the directions. If you're already subscribed to our newsletter, just log into you account and sign up for the digital edition of the magazine - you'll receive your first copy in mid-August.


August 5 - High Plains Committee Meeting, Goodland, KS
September 16 - NSA Research Committee Meeting
January 7-8, 2015 - NSA Research Forum, Fargo, ND
June 23-25, 2015 - 2015 NSA Summer Seminar, Brainerd, MN


Talk that most of the US Midwest could see less than normal August rainfall triggered the market to add in some premium to new crop prices on the CBoT in the past week. There is also talk that temperatures could be cooler than normal in August. August to early September is the critical time frame for oilseeds. Growing conditions throughout the Midwest have been very favorable for oilseed development. This is leading buyers to anxiously watch crop production prospects before making longer term purchases. Producers are cleaning out storage bins to get ready for harvest and deliveries to crush plants have been on the increase. As a result old crop sunflower prices ended the past week mixed in a range of down 90 cents to up 5 cents per cwt. New crop prices settled 10 to 30 cents lower. Given the price decline in other commodities, especially soyoil values, it was probably inevitable that sunflower prices would follow. Corn prices have plunged nearly 30 percent in the past three months to their lowest point since 2010. Prices of other crops have fallen sharply as well, with soybeans trading near two and half year lows with wheat near four year lows. Weather and crop conditions will continue to drive price direction.

For sunflower prices at various locations refer to our website Daily Market News.

Weekly Prices Recorded on Monday, August 11, 2014 ($/CWT)
  Deliver Last Year Last Week This Week Change New Crop
  Chicago Oil          
  Nearby 42.35 36.02 34.88 -1.14 35.21
  Fargo, ND          
  NuSun 20.50 18.55 18.00 -.55 18.25
  Enderlin, ND          
  NuSun 20.70 18.80 18.15 -.65 18.15
  Goodland, KS          
  NuSun 21.60 17.40 16.90 -.50 17.75

recorded on Monday, August 11, 2014
(dollars per 100 lb. internal U.S. location)
  Last Year Last Week This Week Change
Soybean Oil 41.02 36.77 34.92 -1.85
Cotton Oil (pbsy) 42.88 71.02 69.88 -1.14
Corn Oil 41.50 40.50 40.50 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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