June 6, 2023

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U.S. farmers are growing more sunflowers because of the Ukraine war

U.S. farmers are growing more sunflowers because of the Ukraine war

Photo: ANP

U.S. farmers are growing more sunflowers this year as the war in Ukraine bans the supply of sunflower oil from that country. Due to scarcity, farmers in the United States may charge higher prices for their harvest, which makes it more interesting to fill large tracts with yellow flowers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already made a preliminary estimate that 10 percent more acres will be used this season. John Sandbacon, director of the National Sunflower Association, believes sunflower can be grown on more than 20 percent of the acreage than the government estimates. The market price of sunflower, which was already in 2008, is higher than the old record. The conditions for cultivation are also said to be favorable.

Sunflower oil is used for everything from chips and deep fry snacks to bird food and shampoo. Sunflower seeds are also a popular snack in some countries. Spain in particular is a major importer of sunflower seeds. Most sunflowers grown in the United States are usually processed locally. But the American harvest may soon become more popular elsewhere.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) investigated last year that Ukraine was the largest supplier of sunflower oil to the Netherlands. But due to the war, Ukrainian exports have fallen sharply. Sunflower oil can often be replaced with soybean oil, rapeseed oil or palm oil. But these are not always good or cheap.