The U.S. sunflower crop is expected to be down by almost one third compared to 2020, according to new federal data. Growers from seven of the eight primary sunflower-producing states have reported expected decreases in sunflower acreages — the largest growth dip is expected in North Dakota. In all, that means the soybean crop will be around 29% lower than last year. Oil-type sunflower varies are down 28% and non-oil varieties are down 40% from the year prior. These decreases caught the industry off guard particularly for the oil-type varieties as bird food buyers and oil crushers were estimating a 10% to 15% increase. According to Dakota Farmer, growers looking for an opportunity to diversify yet in 2021 with oil sunflower varieties still have time to take advantage of the demand. Get the final 2021 sunflower planting dates for crop insurance purposes and more.