AOF CROP REPORT – Sunflowers 2021/22
The 2021/22 season saw what has become the ‘new normal’ area planted of 15-20,000 Ha (vs the previous decade with 20-30,000 Ha planted). Pleasingly, growing interest in the Riverina has seen the emergence of irrigated sunflower crops, with up to 1-1,500 Ha planted in this region, providing an economical crush volume of 5,000+ tonnes.
The Ukraine war has triggered a massive increase in sunflower interest as global prices for seed and oil hit unprecedented levels. Seed production companies (Barenbrug and S&W) are maximising hybrid seed production (as best they can at short notice) for the coming season to meet the strong demand. To support the strong interest in sunflowers the Sunflower Committee of the AOF is organising grower workshops for Central Queensland and the Riverina for mid-year aimed at building capability among growers and advisors.
Correspondingly, some canola crushers are assessing their technical capabilities to process sunflower seeds, given there is expected to be 7-10,000 Ha (10-15,000 t) of high oleic sunflowers planted this season.