The 2011 sunflower production totaled 2.04 billion pounds, down 25% from 2010. The United States average yield per acre decreased 62 pounds from last year to 1,398 pounds. Planted area, at 1.54 million acres, is 21% below last year and is the lowest since 1976. Area harvested decreased 22% from last year to 1.46 million acres and is also the lowest since 1976.
For the first time since data for both States began to be published in 1977, South Dakota out-produced North Dakota to become the leading sunflower-producing State during 2011. Production in South Dakota is estimated at 777 million pounds, up slightly from 2010.
Compared with last year, South Dakota was the only one of the nine major sunflower-producing States with an increase in yield. Production in North Dakota, at 766 million pounds, is down 39% from 2010. Compared with last year, planted area in North Dakota was down 34% due to extremely wet spring conditions and is the lowest since 1975.
United States production of oil-type sunflower varieties, at 1.72 billion pounds, decreased 17% from 2010 and is the lowest since 1990. Compared with last year, harvested acres are down 13% and the average yield decreased by 61 pounds, to 1,397 pounds per acre.
Production of non-oil sunflower varieties, at 316 million pounds, decreased 52% from last year and is the second lowest since 1988. Area harvested, at 224,400 acres, is down 50% from 2010 and is the lowest since 1987. Although the average yield decreased by 59 pounds from last year to 1,406 pounds per acre, it is still the fifth highest yield on record.
Source: National Sunflower Association