Weather conditions might expand sunflower acreage used for oil

Like other commodities, it is about time for sunflowers to go in the ground, and dry conditions may boost planting intentions.

Executive Director of the National Sunflower Association, John Sandbakken expects farmers to expand acreage for varieties used in oil production.

“Demand has been very strong. We’ve just seen really good increases in sales as far as home use because, obviously, a lot of people are eating at home, and so the demand there for seed has been really good. In fact, when you look at oil prices, since harvest, the old crop prices jumped $4.25 a hundredweight since we started, and normally in a year you would see some down turn but we didn’t have that harvest low this year.”

The industry set a national oil yield record during 2020, hitting more than 1,800 pounds. While the lockdowns boosted the use of sunflower oil, it has the opposite impact on another branch of the industry. Confection varieties, those seeds you nosh on at the baseball game, lost demand, and will likely result in fewer plantings this year.