As the end of June approached, sunflower producers were making good headway with planting, and nearby and new crop sunflower prices were unchanged at the crush plants.

Also, 2020 new crop sunflower contracts were still available at the crush plants, according to John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, writing in NSA’s weekly newsletter on June 22.

Looking at prices at the region’s crush plants, as of June 22, NuSun sunflower was listed at $19.10 per hundredweight for delivery in July at Cargill in West Fargo, N.D., and $19 at ADM in Enderlin, N.D.

October new crop NuSun prices were listed at $16.80 cash at both West Fargo and Enderlin.

On June 22, high-oleic prices were $19.40 at West Fargo, and $19.30 at Enderlin for delivery in July. October new crop high-oleic sunflower prices at both Cargill in West Fargo and ADM in Enderlin were listed at $17.

Elsewhere in North Dakota, the price for October new crop high-oleic sunflower was listed at $16.50 at Pingree. At Cargill in Hebron, N.D., the October price was posted at $15.80 cash.

Sandbakken pointed out that sunflower producers are in the home stretch of wrapping up this year’s planting season.

“Planting progress is equal to or ahead of last year at this same time in all states,” he said. “In the past week, producers made excellent progress and planted an additional 314,000 acres, pushing 2020 planted acres to about 1,116,000 acres.”

The new total represents just over three-fourths of the projected planted acres for this year and is equal to the five-year average.

Sunflower planting is ahead of average in South Dakota, Kansas and Colorado. And in Minnesota, where sunflower planting is finished, 72 percent of the sunflower crop is reported in good-to-excellent condition. In North Dakota, 89 percent of planting was complete, which is on par with last year’s pace of 90 percent, but a little behind the five-year average of 96 percent. In Texas, harvest is underway, with three percent of the crop already harvested.

One of the next big things the market will be looking at closely is the 2020 planted acres report, which USDA will release on June 30.

“The acreage figures will necessitate careful consideration on the part of the trade because they will be based on surveys from the first two weeks of June,” Sanbakken said.

“With this season’s difficult planting conditions in some areas, uncertainty remains about how many acres farmers will plant this year, with some fields switched from corn and others too wet to plant,” he continued. “Yield drag could also be an issue that is even harder for traders to assess.”

The market will also be keeping a close watch on weather in the region. Warm, dry conditions are becoming a concern for many crops. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, about 43.7 percent of the country was afflicted by some level of drought, up from 38.6 percent a week ago, and many of the trouble spots appear west of the Mississippi River.

“Markets are not trading weather yet, but this bears watching as planting wraps up. Look for demand news and position squaring ahead of USDA’s acreage report to guide the market this week,” he concluded.