The nation’s sunflower growers planted 14 percent more acres to sunflower in 2020 than in 2019, according to the final acreage report released June 30 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The total area planted to sunflower in 2020 totaled 1.54 million acres, according to the report, an increase of 14 percent from 2019. In its report, USDA also estimated harvested area to increase 18 percent from last year to 1.47 million acres.

“Compared with last year, growers in six of the eight major sunflower-producing states increased sunflower acreage this year,” commented John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association executive director, in the July 6 NSA newsletter.

“The state with the largest increase from last year is North Dakota, where planted area increased 85,000 acres compared with last year,” he added.

Within the tri-state area, South Dakota also showed a large increase compared with last year, with planted area up 82,000 acres from the previous year.

Looking at planting progress, sunflower planting is ahead of average in South Dakota with 90 percent of the crop planted. That’s well ahead of the five-year average of 81 percent. Growers in North Dakota had 89 percent of the crop planted as of July 6, slightly behind the five-year average of 96 percent.

And in Minnesota, sunflower planting is complete, and thus far, 72 percent of the sunflower crop is reported in good-to-excellent condition. Planting progress is also ahead in Kansas and Colorado.

According to USDA’s report, planted area of oil type varieties totaled 1.37 million acres din 2020, an increase of 15 percent from 2019. Also, USDA projected harvested area to increase 18 percent from last year to 1.32 million acres.

Planted acreage of non-oil sunflower varieties in 2020 was estimated at 170,500 acres, an increase of 11 percent from last year. Harvested area is expected to increase 24 percent from last year to 158,000 acres.

Looking at other oil-related crops, corn and soybeans, USDA also made adjustments compared to the March planting intentions report.

“USDA slashed its estimate for 2020 corn acres from a March outlook for 97 million acres to 92 million, with the trade’s expectation of 95.14 million,” Sandbakken said. “Soybean acres, meanwhile, jumped to about 83.8 million, up from 76.1 million a year earlier, but not far from the originally forecast 83.5 million and trade expectations for 83.5 million. With the release of the USDA report, the key to oilseed prices going forward will be U.S. summer weather and demand news.”

As of July 6, old crop NuSun prices were listed at $20.05 per hundredweight at the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D., for delivery in July, and $19.95 per hundredweight at the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D. The August delivery price was $19.25 at ADM in Enderlin and $18.75 at Cargill in West Fargo. The October 2020 price was $16.80 at both locations.

Looking at high-oleic sunflower prices at West Fargo, the July delivery price was $20.35, while at Enderlin the July delivery price was $20.25. August delivery prices were posted at $19.55 at Enderlin and $19 at West Fargo. October 2020 high-oleic prices were posted at $17 per hundredweight at both locations.

October high-oleic prices at Pingree, N.D., were listed at $16.50, while prices at ADM in Hebron, N.D., were listed at $15.80.