Sorghum e-Notes | March 29, 2018


Happy Easter from National Sorghum Producers
NSP and USCP offices will be closed April 30 for Good Friday. Have a blessed Easter!

Conaway Optimistic on Moving Farm Bill
Partisan tensions within the House Agriculture Committee continue as debate surrounding SNAP benefits remains. Earlier this week, House Agriculture Democrats shared perspectives on the nutrition title details. Conaway countered their review of program changes, saying without the full context of the bill language that is not released yet, not everything being said is exactly true, and there is still time to come together and complete a bill before its expiration.

“Once the American people see this, and once my Democratic colleagues see exactly what we’re doing as opposed to what they’ve been told we’re doing — which from what I can tell is not exactly accurate — I think they’ll see the value of it and join us,” Chairman Conaway told American Ag Network earlier this week. Congress is currently out of session until April 6. Farm bill discussions will resume then and Conaway is expected to release the bill’s language April 9.

NSP Yield Contest Updates 
Changes to the 2018 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest were announced at the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California. Entries will be divided into east and west regions with the dividing line following the eastern state borders of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Changes were also made to the division categories.  The 2018 Sorghum Yield Contest divisions are Irrigated No-Till, Irrigated Tillage, Dryland No-Till, Dryland Tillage and Food Grade. A Bin Buster award will be awarded to the grower with the highest yield. The Go For 250 awards will be given to growers with 250 bushel yields or more. Only one national award will be given in the Food Grade division. Click here for more information and 2018 applications.

USDA Releases 2018 Prospective Plantings 
Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service Released its Prospective Planting report for 2018. The report indicates producers are expected to plant 5.93 million acres in 2018, up 5 percent from the previous year. As of March 18, Texas growers had planted 25 percent of their expected acreage, equal to last year but 7 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. For the full release click here.

USDA Issues Statement on Plant Breeding Innovation
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced clarifications this week that USDA will continue its policy of not regulating plants produced through genome editing and other innovative techniques used to introduce traits to protect crops against pest and disease. The announcement advances a science-based and practical approach to protecting plant health while allowing for technological advancements. Under its current biotechnology regulations which oversee the safety of products derived from new technologies, USDA does not and will not regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests. This includes crops developed using genome editing.

“With this approach, USDA seeks to allow innovation when there is no risk present. At the same time, I want to be clear to consumers that we will not be stepping away from our regulatory responsibilities. While these crops do not require regulatory oversight, we do have an important role to play in protecting plant health by evaluating products developed using modern biotechnology. This is a role USDA has played for more than 30 years, and one I will continue to take very seriously, as we work to modernize our technology-focused regulations,” Perdue said.

Section 18 Granted for Transform in Multiple States in 2018
Sorghum farmers in Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia have all been granted Section Emergency Use Exemption for the use of sulfoxaflor on grain sorghum for the 2018 growing season. Sulfoxaflor is the active ingredient in Transform WG and gives sorghum farmers more flexibility when treating for the sugarcane aphid. Learn more at

NSP Accepting Applications for Board Directors
National Sorghum Producers has begun accepting applications from candidates who wish to serve on the board of directors. Candidates for the board must be a member of the National Sorghum Producers and have a passion for working on behalf of sorghum growers through lobbying and fundraising activities. The NSP board is not limited to growers, and there is no experience necessary to apply. If you have a desire to improve the sorghum industry through one of the three available leadership positions, NSP encourages you to apply. Applications are available at and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CST on May 11, 2018. Contact Debra Lloyd at 806-749-3478 if you have any questions.

Sorghum Foundation Scholarships Now Available
The Sorghum Foundation has three scholarships available for college students studying agriculture for the 2018-2019 school year. The scholarships include $1,500 to be applied toward one semester of tuition expenses. All applications are due June 1, 2018. For more information and applications, click here.

KORUS Agreement Updated
Updates have been made to the Korea-U.S. (KORUS) trade agreement. Under the new pact released this week, vehicle exports and imports between the countries will be modified. South Korea also made an adjustment to limit their steel exports to fall within the quota that will now exempt them from the 25 percent tariff. The new trade policies under KORUS will help improve the trade balance and strengthen our security relationship. It is projected the U.S. will seek comparable agreements with other countries, including Canada and Mexico as they discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
National Commodity Groups Discuss Policy at Classic – High Plains Journal
Acreage Preview: Putting it All Together – AgWeb
Transform Insecticide Gains Emergency use Exemptions – Cotton, Grain Sorghum – Southwest FarmPress
Oklahoma Experts Share how to Make Every Drop Count – High Plains Journal

Upcoming Sorghum Events
March 30      NSP Office closed in observance of Good Friday
April 9-13     International Sorghum Conference – Cape Town, South Africa
April 23-24   NAFB Washington Watch – Washington, D.C.

For a full view of calendar events, visit the NSP website calendar.

Market News – To view this week’s Gulf export grain report, click here.