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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

How Was 2023 for Sunflower Growers, and What Do Analysts Expect for 2024?

Sunflower oil consumption in the U.S. has jumped 50 percent in only the past five years, with no signs of slowing down. And according to the USDA, since 2010, confection sunflowers have offered one of the highest returns per acre available in the sunflower growing region. A combination of increasing demand and lower seed stocks from previous crop years resulted in higher contracted acres in 2023, but it was a challenging growing year with April winter storms in the Dakotas and Minnesota, slower crop development compared to the five-year average due to late planting, severe drought in Kansas and Colorado, and widespread power outages in the High Plains and Minnesota due to winter storms in October that affected yields.

The USDA’s October forecasts U.S. production at 2.19 billion pounds, or 22 percent down from the revised 2022 output of 2.81 billion pounds. Area planted at 1.32 million acres was down 2 percent from the USDA’s June estimate, and growers are expected to harvest 1.26 million acres - down 2 percent from the June forecast and 21 percent down from 2022.

Looking ahead to 2024, analysts believe that acres will increase given the interest being expressed by producers, and based on historical usage, an increase in acres of 20-25 percent in 2024 can easily be added without impacting prices, given current demand.


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CONTRIBUTE

Contact Lynda Kiernan-Stone,

editor of Unconventional Ag News, to submit a story for consideration: 
lkiernan-stone@highquestgroup.com

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