Bright Start For Sunflower

Bright Start For Sunflower

New crop sunflower contracts are prices up 10-25% over last year.

New crop sunflower prices have been announced by all of the major oil crushing plants. Prices range from $24.50 to $27 per hundredweight (cwt.), reports Larry Kleingartner, executive director of the National Sunflower Association.

The price range reflects an Act of God contract versus a straight cash price, he says.

"High oleic contract prices have been announced as well with one firm using a November 2012 soybean futures contract as a pricing tool. A few confection contract prices have been announced, which are in the mid-$30 cwt. range."

New crop prices at the crushing plants set the floor for the other products like confections, hulling types, bird food and high oleic.

Sunflower might live up to its sunny image next year. New crop contract prices are up 10-25%.

The $24.50 to $27 per cwt. new crop number is from 10% to 25% higher than last year's new crop announcement, Kleingartner says.

The market is clearly signaling that it needs more acres, according to Kleingartner.

To help produce high yields, there are going to be more production tools available in 2012.

"One exciting addition is FMC's announcement of Broadaxe herbicide. This new herbicide combines two products into one for better long season control of grasses, resistant kochia and Palmer amaranth. Additional fungicides will be available as well with anticipated activity on the Sclerotinia head rot," Kleingartner says.

The National Sunflower Association, USDA ARS and private companies are also aggressively pushing ahead with the new molecular marker technology for developing new sunflower hybrids. The industry hope the effort helps defend the crop against diseases and insects, increases yield and produces plants with better overall agronomic characteristics.

"The NSA has invested heavily in research over the last five years and that investment is already providing dividends," Kleingartner says.

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