National Sunflower Association
Bees Deliver Sclerotinia Control
A demonstration and replicated trial of an organic crop inoculation system to control sclerotinia – also known as white mold or head rot – on sunflowers will be held during July and August at North Dakota State University’s Langdon Research Extension Center in Langdon, North Dakota. Sclerotinia is an invasive disease that causes significant losses in sunflowers, soybeans and canola. The U.S. Department of Agriculture founded the National Sclerotinia Initiative in 2002 and continues to fund it annually to discover a control for the disease. Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has been working with sunflower growers in North Dakota and South Dakota to test its system of using bumblebees as natural delivery mechanisms for a variety of powdered mixtures. The mixtures are made of organic compounds that inhibit or eliminate common crop diseases while also enhancing crops. The proprietary process facilitates targeted delivery of crop controls using bee pollination. Trial results from North Dakota State University are expected to be announced in September or October.
As sunflower planting approaches for the major production region, it is important to take a close look at planter conditions and settings. Achieving the perfect plant stand is one of the most critical challenges for growers each year. The NSA website offers a serious of tutorial videos featuring John Smith, Agricultural Engineer with the University of Nebraska at Scottsbluff. Smith conducted seed placement tests on oil sunflower and large seeded confections using a variety of metering and planter types. His observations and recommendations for calibration and adjustments to achieve excellent plant spacing can be viewed here.
Exports of In-Shell Sunflower Increase
Exports of in-shell sunflower continue to increase; from October 2015 to February 2016, Mexico imported 4,259 metric tons (MT) of in-shell sunflower, compared to 2,252 MT during the same time period a year ago. Imports to Iraq have also increased, from 398 MT from October 2014 to February 2015 to 5,807 MT from October 2015 to February 2016. Spain remains the top importer of in-shell sunflower. Total exports are up as well, to 26,846 MT from October 2015 to February 2016, compared to 23,439 during the same time time frame a year ago. Exports of sunflower kernel are down slightly, from 5,495 MT from October 2014 to February 2015 to 3,103 MT from October 2015 to February 2016.
Sunflower Oil Exports Increase
Sunflower oil exports to Mexico continue to increase. From October 2015 to February 2016, Mexico has imported 5,080 metric tons (MT) of sunflower oil. That’s compared to 1,140 MT from October 2014 to February 2015. Exports to Taiwan are also up, from 67 MT last year to 186 MT this year. Canada remains the top importer of sunflower oil, with 7,981 MT from October 2015 to February 2016. Total sun oil exports from October 2015 to February 2016 were 16,680 MT, compared to 12,587 MT during the same time period a year ago.
May 29 – June 3, 2016: 19th Annual International Sunflower Conference, Edirne, Turkey
June 28- 30, 2016: 2016 NSA Summer Seminar, Bismarck, ND
ADM is offering additional 2016 new crop Act of God (AOG) high oleic sunflower contracts at Enderlin and Pingree, ND. When high oleic contracts were first offered this winter they were snapped up quickly with many growers still looking to contract 2016 production. This is an opportunity to lock in prices and diversify your crop risk this year. USDA released its latest supply and demand report last week. USDA’s estimate of U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2015-16 was reduced from 460 million to 445 million bushels, a little less than expected. U.S. soybean stock levels are forecast to end the year around 12 percent of use, the largest level since August 2007. From the looks of it, the United States will hold the majority of soybean stocks among major exporters during this time of abundant global supplies and low prices.
This could lead to additional price weakness this fall if the U.S. produces a larger than expected crop at harvest. CBoT traders continue to see US export sales winding down seasonally as supplies from South America enter the world market. A huge soybean crop is hitting the market as Argentina and Brazil are both harvesting big crops. Traders are also keeping a close eye on Midwest weather.