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Fall & Winter Sunflower Thoughts

Seed varieties to plant next year

Several seed producing companies, such as Croplan, Dyna-Gro, Nuseed/Legend, Pioneer, Ag Venture, S&W Seeds, and Mycogen have good variety choices. The CSU 2020 field trial results will be available soon at Several previous year(s) data can be viewed there also. Nearby State's results are linked on that page as well as the National Sunflower Association's web site This NSA website is a huge resource and should be in any producer's toolbox.

Planting strategies

-Early planting: Late April to May. Some of our sunflower producers have been trying some early planting dates and have been getting some added benefits like higher yields and higher oil content. Earlier planting also means you need to watch for insect activity earlier. If you early plant, harvesting will need to be timely if lodging occurs.

-Normal planting: June 6 to June 20. Good yield potential. Planting during this time frame can help to avoid some of the adult stem weevil activity.

-Double crop planting: June 24 to July ??? (following wheat harvest or a spring feed crop). Most of our producers are planting the same sunflower seed varieties as they would during the normal planting window. Short season sunflower seed varieties typically are not beneficial. Expected yields are slightly lower than full season sunflowers with harvest in October or November. Double cropping is ideal consideration for irrigated ground.

Marketing Options

Colorado Mills is currently offering a 2021 Acre Contract for High Oleic Sunflowers. This contract includes all your production for the acres contracted. Identical to an Act of God contract, this covers you in the event of adverse weather or other detrimental circumstances. Colorado Mills adds a grower incentive of $0.20/cwt for each of the last 5 years you have delivered your crop to us up to a maximum $1 premium. And don't forget, the additional Oil Premiums are paid when sunflowers contain over 40% oil.

Give us a call to discuss your contracting needs and to get our current new crop contract price! Our office number is 719-336-8452, or email Kevin at

Written by Kevin Swanson

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