Sunflower crop reports for 2021, a historic year!
Sunflower crop reports for 2021, a historic year!
Paris, November 22, 2021 -Terres Inovia, the technical institute of the vegetable oil and protein sector, unveils the 2021 sunflower crop reports. This is a record year for the crop, with performances in most regions. Thus, the 2021 campaign ends with average yields ranging from 28 to more than 30 q/ha depending on the production basin. These good results are linked to the combination of satisfactory sowing conditions that allowed for quality planting (emergence density and rooting quality) and regular water supply, particularly during the key flowering period. The sowings that could be carried out early and until the end of April benefited this year from the rains of July better than the sowings carried out later.
Focus by regions
In the historical sectors of the South-West, the departmental averages ranged between 26 and 30 q/ha, reaching 33 q/ha in the South-Aquitaine. In Poitou-Charentes, as well as in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and in the Centre, the regional average could be around 30 q/ha. In the Bourgogne Franche-Comté region, performances are also good with an average that could exceed 30 q/ha. Some plots with record yields, well above these averages, could reach more than 45 q/ha. The consolidated national average should be close to 30 q/ha according to Terres Inovia, thus exceeding the previous historical record dating from 2017 (27.6 q/ha according to Agreste) and well above the average of 22.8 q/ha of the last ten years. These very positive results illustrate the capacity of sunflowers to express their potential when conditions are fully favorable.
Sunflowers generally very healthy
These good performances can be explained by a good general health record. Diseases were generally not present. The conditions were favorable to the contamination of sclerotinia of the head but the attacks remained very localized in certain plots of the valley bottom in the Southwest.
The improvement of the tolerance of the varieties to the diseases but also the good adaptation of the variety to the plot are also elements contributing to this good sanitary state.
Rainfall and cool temperatures in July 2021 delayed cycles compared to the hot summers of 2019 and 2020. These conditions favored plant growth, with sunflowers particularly tall this year, which could lead to fears of late-cycle accidents. Fortunately, the overall sunny conditions at the end of summer and beginning of fall facilitated harvesting, including late plots.
Good margins in 2021 and good prospects for 2022
With regard to gross margins for sunflower, the results obtained in 2021 were significantly higher than those of 2020 and of the previous campaigns, thanks to the changes in yields, prices and operating expenses between these two campaigns. Assuming a yield of 30q/ha, for a selling price between 450 €/t and 500 €/t, the gross margin of sunflower is respectively between 1045 €/ha and 1195 €/ha (operating expenses of 305 €/ha) against 500 €/ha in the ten-year indicative average.
The 2021 campaign has shown the importance of choosing a variety with an earliness adapted to the territory and to the sowing date in order to avoid or limit drying costs and to allow the implantation of the following winter crop in good conditions. This aspect is crucial in the basins of the northern half of France and on the oceanic border, especially since drying costs have risen sharply in the context of soaring fossil fuel prices (natural gas, fuel oil).
For the next season 2022, in the context of the very strong increase in the cost of fertilizers, sunflower will be able to make the most of its limited needs in nitrogenous fertilizers, with an optimal dose usually between 0 and 80 units, leading to a limited increase in fertilization costs and overall costs that remain significantly lower compared to other more demanding crops.
Teo, gold in your rotations, a real plus for your crops
Sunflower has many assets to be used in the rotation and crop rotation. The last year of the Teo communication and development program will be the occasion, once again, to demonstrate this.
Thanks to its great capacity for adaptation, sunflower is a robust species whatever the climatic scenario: in a dry year, it will be able to tolerate summer water constraints; in a rainy year, such as 2021, it will respond with yield performance. It is also a low-input crop with limited operating costs and therefore limited cash flow.
More than ever, innovation is at the forefront
The work undertaken by the Institute and its partners over the past several years, and more recently within the framework of Cap Protéines, reflects the investment of R&D to bring technical and genetic innovations to this species.
In 2022, Teo will focus on developing these innovations that benefit sunflower through areas such as genetic progress, the diversity of its outlets and increasing its contribution to the protein autonomy of the French farm by adapting its technical itinerary. It will also be an opportunity to discuss new developments in terms of management, such as the evaluation of new active ingredients (particularly post-emergence herbicides), biostimulants, and an innovative harvesting method.
To learn more about the Teo program, you can watch or re-watch the TI Thursday dedicated to it : https://youtu.be/5X-2m33uMZQ