Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Committee Chair(s)

Tanner McCarty


Tanner McCarty


Ryan Feuz


Ryan Larsen


Safflower is an oilseed crop primarily produced in the western Great Plains because of its compatibility with cereal grain equipment. Varieties grown in that region are harvested predominantly for seeds high in safflower oil and oleic acid that are processed and used in cooking oil, human nutrition, and other health and beauty products. Safflower is also grown in Utah, Idaho, and California for birdseed mixes due to the region’s arid climate, which yields a crisp, white seed that is highly favorable in the birdseed market. Mountain States Oilseeds, headquartered in American Falls, Idaho, is one of the United States’ largest processors of safflower seed and is the nation’s No. 1 supplier of safflower seed used in birdseed mixes. While increasing demand for oilseeds will bolster Mountain States Oilseeds’ business, producers often view safflower as a minor annual crop with a high-risk profile and minimal expected returns. Thus, Mountain States Oilseeds must develop a strategy to entice more dedicated oilseed production as resource constraints tighten across the Western U.S. and the worldwide demand for safflower oil, birdseed, and meal continues to expand.

Included in

Agribusiness Commons