By Trish Brown, Walsh, Colorado.

Sunflower growers intend to plant 1.22 million acres in 2021, a decline of 29% from 2020, as gleaned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Planting Intentions report.

Compared with last year, growers in seven of the eight major sunflower-producing states expect a decrease in acreage this year, according to John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, Mandan, North Dakota.

Planted acreage in North Dakota is expected to decline 315,000 acres from last year to 418,000 acres. The only state expecting an increase is Colorado, where planted area is expected to be up 12,000 acres from last year. Area intended for oil type varieties, at 1.08 million acres, is down 28% from 2020, if realized. Compared with last year, growers in six of the eight major sunflower-producing states expect a decline in acreage for oil type varieties. The only states expecting an increase are Colorado and Texas. Area intended for non-oil varieties, at 137,000 acres, is down 40% from last year if realized.

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