NuSun Mid-Oleic Oilseed Sunflower Yields vs. Conventional Oilseed Sunflower Yields

Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomy, TAEX-Lubbock, 806-746-6101,
26 April 2001

I’ve had several inquiries about yield potential on NuSun mid-oleic sunflowers vs. conventional oilseed. Do they yield as much? Apparently some sales claims, particularly in the Panhandle, have asserted that NuSun does not yield as well as conventional, and that in spite of the premium on NuSun, growers are better off with conventional oilseed. Reports suggest that some conventional oilseed has been planted around Groom because of this.

NuSun yields vs. conventional oilseed yields which seems to have ended with the 2000 cropping season. Yield trial data for NuSun oilseeds from Kansas and Colorado suggest that NuSun yields are as good or even better than conventional oilseed. Claims to the contrary appear to be in error although some companies might be promoting their conventional oilseed if they don’t have good NuSun hybrids. Otherwise, these companies are now or will soon be completely out of the oilseed market in the Southern Great Plains.

For example, in the NuSun show field trial results conducted by Kansas State Research and Extension at Colby, KS, in 2000, over thirty NuSun hybrids and experimentals averaged 2571 lbs./A under irrigation, and the conventional checks, which were proven hybrids, averaged 2566 lbs./A. When one considers that the among the experimentals are several low-yielding hybrids that will never be released commercially, the yield for NuSun looks even better.

Focusing in on the same 2000 KSU test above, NuSun hybrids from different companies were compared to that company’s traditional check. NuSun averaged 2,579 lbs./A (46.5% oil) and traditional oil 2,566 lbs./A (45.5% oil). Net return favored NuSun by $22.80/A over conventional.

The following three hybrids from the Kansas NuSun test in addition to other hybrids are being testing at Halfway, TX, this year (with their 2000 yields compared to the conventional checks averaging 2,566 lbs./A): Pioneer 63M80, 2646 lbs./A (48.2% oil); Pioneer 63M91, 2778 lbs./A (46.8% oil); Triumph Seed 652, 2995 lbs./A (44.1% oil).

Some concern had been raised in Kansas and Colorado about possible lower oil content in the 2000 NuSun harvest, but according to Roger Stockton, KSU extension agronomist at Colby, a closer look at the data suggests that lower oil content was attributed to cooler weather with increasingly higher elevation (this favors earlier planting for higher oil content). The same condition apparently affected conventional oilseed as well.

For a complete copy of the Kansas and national NuSun field trial results leave a message for Calvin Trostle at the Lubbock Center or call the National Sunflower Association at 888-718-7033 or visit their website at

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