|Tax Package on the Move in the House
Details on the tax framework are beginning to be revealed today after House Republicans unveiled their new tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill represents the first overhaul of the nation’s tax code since President Reagan’s historic tax reform 31 years ago. President Trump issued a statement applauding the bill’s release but added there is much work left to do. At this time, NSP is cautiously optimistic about the provisions but will be pouring through the bill’s 429 pages to ensure changes positively impact sorghum producers. We will provide more in-depth details to our membership soon as this issue will be front and center through November and December.Biofuels Investment Puts Sorghum: The Smart Choice® on Display at Texas Motor Speedway
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program invested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) in 2015 in an effort to aid states in delivering higher blends of renewable fuel. The program aimed to increase the number of ethanol blender pumps across the country. A combined contribution of $150,000 was provided by the Sorghum Checkoff, the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission to BIP where the USDA matched one-to-one state and private industry funds up to $100 million.
As a recent result of this partnership, sorghum will be featured at the JAG Metals 350 this weekend in Texas with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Austin Wayne Self. Self’s #45 Niece Motorsports truck features the Sorghum: The Smart Choice® logo in support of the Sorghum Checkoff’s efforts to promote sorghum use in the ethanol industry.
Sam Clovis Withdraws Nomination to USDA Undersecretary Position
Sam Clovis, nominee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, withdrew his name from consideration Nov. 1. Critics of Clovis’s nomination said he lacked the scientific credentials to lead USDA’s research efforts. Clovis was a top Trump campaign official and after the election was named as the White House liaison at USDA.
NAFTA Talks Losing Steam
Awaiting the next round of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations in mid-November, the U.S. agricultural industry has expressed sincere concern that the Trump Administration is positioning itself to withdraw from the trade deal. The conclusion of the Round 4 meeting in mid-October showed that the hurdles to completing NAFTA 2.0 have continued to grow. Mexican and Canadian officials warned the negotiations cannot be a winner-takes-all approach and Canada suggested an interest in more aggressively pursuing other international trading partners.
National Sorghum Producers was among a coalition of 86 major food and agricultural industry groups that sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross warning that a notice to Congress from the White House to withdraw from NAFTA would cause immediate and substantial harm. While the future of the trade agreement and the Administration’s agenda is unclear, the ag industry is working to create awareness of NAFTA’s importance and the negative effects that would result if the U.S. withdraws from the agreement.
Continuing Resolution Possibilities at Play
Key appropriators say lawmakers have discussed a continuing resolution that runs until early February rather than a December omnibus measure. This is contrary to earlier statements by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that Congress could reach a spending deal before the Dec. 8 deadline.
McCarthy Releases 2018 House Calendar
This week, U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy released the 2018 House calendar. For downloadable and printable versions, visit https://www.majorityleader.gov/2018-calendar/.
International Sorghum Meeting Abstract Deadline Approaching
Sorghum in the 21st Century, the first international sorghum meeting slated to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, is accepting abstract submissions for original research for presentation or oral or poster presentations, or presentations covering topics with commercial appeal. Abstract submissions must be done online at https://21centurysorghum.com/abstract-submissions/ or by contacting Lethisha Narayan. The oral presentations submission deadline is Nov. 30 and the poster presentations deadline is Jan. 31. Click here to learn more.
SICNA Registration Available Next Week
The Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America will take place Jan. 29-31, 2018, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. SICNA is the largest gathering of research scientist in sorghum whose mission is to promote communication and collaboration in research and development among sorghum researchers and stakeholders in cooperation with universities, research centers, public institutions and private entities. SICNA also strives 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. Registrations will be available next week at sicna.net.
This week was one of the largest ever for sorghum exports with China and Japan committing to purchase 11.2 million bushels of sorghum. This brings total commitments for the year to 69.8 million bushels or 33 percent of the current USDA sorghum export target just seven weeks into the marketing year. This unprecedented pace has significantly impacted sorghum basis with Gulf exporters leading the way bidding $4.89 per bushel. Interior bids are also strong and continue to maintain parity with corn. A few of these include TMA in central Kansas bidding -60 for new crop sorghum and -50 for new crop corn; Gavilon in central South Dakota bidding -43 for new crop sorghum and -60 for new crop corn and CGB in central Oklahoma bidding -25 for new crop sorghum and -35 for new crop corn.
By week’s end, 96 percent of this year’s sorghum was considered mature, equal to last year but slightly ahead of the 5-year average. Nationwide, sorghum producers had harvested 59 percent of the crop by Oct. 29, sixteen percentage points behind last year and 10 points behind the 5-year average. Most estimating states were at or behind their respective 5-year averages for harvesting with Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas ahead of schedule.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Sorghum Growers PLC Coverage Help, Reminder to Join Farm Bill Fight – Delta FarmPress
Austin Wayne Self Ready for Texas-Sized Performance in Lone Star State – Speedway Digest
Popped Sorghum Peanut Butter Balls – Men’s Fitness
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Nov. 8-9 NAFB Trade Talk, Kansas City, MO
Nov. 14-17 NSP Board of Directors Meeting, Lubbock, TX
Nov. 23-24 NSP & USCP Offices closed for Thanksgiving
Nov. 28-30 Amarillo Farm Show, Amarillo, TX
Nov. 29 West Texas PAC Event, Amarillo, TX
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.
Sign Up to Receive the Sorghum Checkoff e-Newsletter
Sorghum producers can also receive monthly e-newsletters from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. To receive monthly news and information regarding the Sorghum Checkoff’s efforts in sorghum research, education and market development, sign up here. You can also follow the Sorghum Checkoff on Twitter @SorghumCheckoff, on Facebook and Instagram @SorghumCheckoff.