Sunflowers is one crop that could hold a lot of potential for producers on the prairies. 

Currently, the majority of the acres in the prairies are found in southern Manitoba, with some acres also grown in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Crops Extension Specialist Sherri Roberts says sunflowers is a crop that can be seeded a little bit later, and is generally harvested into October which can help to spread out the workload.

She notes there were producers in Manitoba that didn't get them seeded until the second week in June, and they still had a really nice growth pattern for the season.

Roberts says sunflowers can access water and nutrients at deeper depths than other plants.

"So some of these areas that have been really dry, they've got the nutrients sitting there in the soil, because the other crops haven't been able to utilize them. You put in a crop of sunflowers and I can guarantee you that they're going to go in they're going to scavenge that water that's there. They're going to scavenge nutrients, and they're going to come up with a really decent crop that's going to be a benefit to your bottom line."

She says producers need to think outside the box and look at ways to extend their crop rotations out, these two year rotations are set up for disease.

"The basic thing they need to do in dealing with herbicide resistant weeds is look at expanding your rotation and sunflowers are a good fit."

Sunflowers are based on their end use either as oil or confection.

Stats show that about 60 per cent of all Canadian sunflowers are considered confection type, and are marketed as a roasted snack food or dehulled for the baking industry.

Oilseed sunflowers are used in the birdseed market and crushed for sunflower oil.

Roberts notes it's a commodity that has a lot of really good health benefits to it.

She says Saskatchewan doesn't have a crushing plant, but we're trying and if that would succeed in this province, we would really have an opportunity for acres to expand and grow.

Roberts feels that sunflower production is a hidden opportunity especially with the unrest we have going on it the world right now.