The voice of the sorghum industry
Secretary Perdue Weighs in on H-2A Overhaul
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue touted the benefits of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) AG Act during a town-hall style event at a Pennsylvania dairy farm this week. Secretary Perdue said that he hopes Chairman Goodlatte’s bill will be included as part of a broader immigration bill, saying he didn’t see another opportunity to address the farm sector’s labor shortages in the near future. The House is weighing passing the measure which is the closest agriculture has ever come to getting an effective guest worker program. The bill currently has growing support. If an effective guest worker program is important to you or your region, please ask your congressman to sign on as a cosponsor and urge your senators to include a guest worker provision in its version of DACA. Read more on Perdue’s comments on Chairman Goodlatte’s AG Act here.
On Thursday NSP submitted comments urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to approve the proposed rule to allow sorghum oil produced at ethanol plants to be sold into the biodiesel supply chain. Approval will mean immediate production of up to 20 million additional ethanol-equivalent gallons of clean-burning, job-creating and domestically-produced gallons of advanced biofuel. Approval will also level a playing field long tilted against Sorghum Belt ethanol plants by allowing the same market access enjoyed by corn-only ethanol plants.
Kansas Commodity Classic Recap
Growers from across the state joined together for the 2018 Kansas Commodity Classic in Manhattan. The annual convention of the Kansas Corn, Grain Sorghum and Wheat associations hosted several different speakers and covered topics including policy, market news, trade and farm bill updates. Those in attendance included Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Senator Jerry Moran. “Both senators are keen and eager to advocate for the agriculture industry,” Kansas Grain Sorghum Executive Director Jesse McCurry said. “They are well versed over trade and are willing to help sorghum growers.”
Government Shut Down is Over
The government shut down late last week after a continuing resolution bill failed to pass the Senate on Jan.20. The shut down was a result of unresolved issues including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Democrats insisted that DACA go to vote but disagreed with GOP lawmakers over several other provisions which included funding for a border wall and other immigration policies. After a three-day shut down, lawmakers voted on another short-term spending bill to reopen the government until Feb. 8.
USDA Announces Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018 during a town hall meeting at Reinford Farms in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. For more information click here.
White House Looking to Release President’s Budget on Feb. 12 at Earliest
According to sources in the Trump Administration, the White House is planning to release its budget proposal to Congress on February 12 or later. A release date of February 12 would be one week later than the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had originally planned, and OMB staff say the government shutdown is to blame for the delay. While President Trump has appeared very supportive of U.S. farm policy, his budget is reportedly not expected to reflect those views as it will likely once again contain deep and harmful proposed cuts to the Farm Bill and crop insurance. Read more on the projected release date of the President’s budget here.
SICNA Next Week
The Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America will kick off next week starting on Monday, Jan. 29. Early bird registration has closed but there is still time to register and reserve a spot. This years conference will be held at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. The goal of SICNA is to link scientists and researchers with sorghum producers and industry representatives to help drive innovation and discovery in response to the industry’s greatest challenges. For more information or to register for the conference click here.
Last Chance to Avoid Late Registration Fees for Commodity Classic
Only a few days remain to take advantage of standard registration fees for the 2018 Commodity Classic to be held Feb. 27-March 1, in Anaheim, California. The last day regular registration fees are in effect is Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Late registration fees will apply after that date. For more information click here.
Hay Production and Stocks Down
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) considerably reduced the U.S. hay yield per acre for 2017 based on producer surveys. On Jan. 12 the NASS Crop Production report showed a one percent drop in the 2017 national production estimate. The total 2017 U.S. hay production was 131.5 million tons, the smallest since 2012’s drought devastated crop. For more information click here.
Export sales were firm again this week with China and Korea committing to purchase 6.5 million bushels of sorghum. Total commitments now stand at 194 million bushels. Shipments were also strong with China and Mexico taking delivery of 8.6 million bushels. Price stayed strong with Gulf premiums for sorghum at 27 percent. The northern plains was firm, as well.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
When Life Gives You Milo, Make Vodka – Forbes
Latest Research Focuses on Fungus as Tool to Control Sugarcane Aphids – Southwest Farm Press
Sorghum Spotlight: All About The World’s 9th Leading Gluten-Free Crop – One Green Planet
A Renewed Interest In Sorghum – KGNC
Corn, sorghum, soybean cash bids higher – HPJ
On Your Mark, Get Set – AgWeb
Sweet Sorghum as an Ethanol Feedstock in Western Nebraska – Could it happen? – KTIC
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Jan. 29 Sugarcane Aphid Workshop – St. Louis, MO
Jan. 29-31 SICNA Conference – St. Louis, MO
Jan. 30-1 2018 International Production & Processing Expo – Atlanta, GA
Feb. 5-8 NSP DC Fly-in – Washington, D.C.
Feb. 26-1 Commodity Classic – Anaheim, CA
March 13-14 Governor’s Ag Conference – Kearney, NE
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.
Sorghum e-Notes | January 26, 2018