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U.S. sunflowerseed production increased tenfold during the 1970's and approached 6 million acres, but declined to less than 2 million acres by the late 1980's, ranking 17th in value among U.S. field crops. Output rose in response to growing demand for sunflowerseed oil and declined because of increased competition abroad and increasingly attractive returns from competing crops and land uses at home. Recent changes in domestic agricultural policies, combined with increased marketing opportunities both at home and abroad, have led to renewed interest in sunflowers among producers, processors, and input industries. Also, the relatively low level of saturated fat in sunflowerseed oil and its other technical characteristics have increased the oil's popularity among consumers. This report describes the U.S. sunflower industry from producers to consumers and provides a single source of economic and statistical information on sunflowers.


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