The yield potential of the European Union (EU)’s 2022 sunflowerseed harvest was reduced compared to the previous year due to extreme dryness, according to EU Commission data reported by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).

The 2022 harvest was also lower than the long-term average of 10.2M tonnes, the 8 December report said.

According to the latest EU Commission’s estimates, 9.3M tonnes of sunflowerseed – a reduction of around 10% compared to the previous year – were harvested in the EU in 2022.

Although the planted area increased by around 18% to a new record of 5.1M ha, yields of 19.5 decitonnes/ha were reduced by almost 18% compared to the previous year.

“The continued dryness and extreme heat over the summer months led to harvest losses,” UFOP said.

However, the association said sunflowers could be used as an alternative crop in some regions to expand crop rotations and minimise risks.

“In view of the uncertain supply situation for sunflowerseed and sunflower oil from Ukraine, UFOP recommends farmers take sunflowers into account when planning their 2023 sowings,” the report said.