John Sandbakken, Executive Director of the National Sunflower Association, says sunflowers are getting a lot of attention for the healthy oil it provides. With many states facing an early season drought, more farmers have looked at sunflowers as a potential “drought hedge” compared to crops like corn and soybeans. Sandbakken says their timing is great since the industry is seeing more demand than ever for the healthy food ingredient.
Sandbakken says, “You can grow the 3 big crops, but growing sunflower gives a little more of an advantage to mitigate some of the potential market risk that is out there.”
Sandbakken says, “Everyone wants to eat the same amount of food, but they want it to be healthier.” Companies have turned to sunflower oil as a healthy ingredient that gives consumers what they’re looking for. “Sunflower oil is 85% mono unsaturated fats,” Sandbakken say, “which are the good fats.”