South Dakota takes top spot in sunflowersStep aside, North Dakota. South Dakota is now the nation’s leading sunflower producer, at least temporarily.
By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek
Step aside, North Dakota. South Dakota is now the nation’s leading sunflower producer, at least temporarily.
South Dakota farmers produced an estimated 777 million pounds of sunflowers in 2011. That just topped the estimated 766 million grown last year in North Dakota. It’s the first time South Dakota outproduced its northern neighbor since data for both states began to be published in 1977.
The numbers, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual sunflower production report, were cited in a press release Jan. 12 from the National Sunflower Association, based in Mandan, N.D.
North Dakota, long the nation’s top sunflower producer, suffered from an exceptionally wet spring in 2011, which lead to a 34 percent decrease in planted sunflower acres and a 39 percent decrease in production from 2010.
In contrast, South Dakota’s 2011 sunflower production rose slightly from the previous year.
Nationwide, 2011 sunflower production totaled 2.04 billion pounds, down 25 percent from 2010. Both the U.S. average yield per acre and planted acreage fell in 2011.