Trump Selects Oklahoma’s Pruitt for EPA Head
President-elect Donald Trump has selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. Pruitt has a long history of opposing EPA regulations. In the announcement, Pruitt said, “The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses.”
Taylor Joins Sorghum Checkoff
As of Nov. 29, 2016, Elisa Taylor joined the Sorghum Checkoff as communications manager. Taylor will provide and implement strategic communications planning for all non-consumer program areas, including renewables, crop improvement and agronomy. Taylor will graduate from Texas Tech University in December with her master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus in business administration, agricultural communications and editing.
McCurry Named Kansas Grain Sorghum Executive Director
The Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association and Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission has selected Jesse McCurry as executive director. McCurry has served as a regional director for the National Sorghum Producers and United Sorghum Checkoff Program since 2013. McCurry also serves on the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership board of directors, Kansas Technical Committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Regional Advisory Committee for the Equus-Walnut.
Congress’ Prioritization of Funding for FSA Loans in Continuing Resolution
Congress will likely wrap up work for the year today, as the House is expected to consider a short-term continuing resolution of appropriations today. The current CR will expire tomorrow, Dec. 9; the new CR under consideration would extend government funding at fiscal year 2016 levels to April 28, 2017. The CR includes a provision giving the U.S. Department of Agriculture the authority to make loans to farmers and ranchers in proportion to demand, ensuring the USDA can continue to offer credit to producers during the winter months. The Senate will likely consider the CR either later today or tomorrow, Dec. 9.
USDA Announces New Conservation Opportunities Related to Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat
On Dec. 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new opportunities within the Conservation Reserve Program. New additions will include an estimated 1.1 million acres directed towards wildlife, pollinators and wetlands along with a water quality initiative named Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers, with new mechanisms to assist landowners with bioreactors and saturated buffers costs. Read more about these opportunities here.
The 2017 Annual Commodity Classic is now open for event registration and housing reservations. Rooms in this year’s venue city of San Antonio are expected to book quickly, so those interested in attending should register as soon as possible! The 22st annual farmer-focused, farmer-led event is scheduled for March 2-4, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. Register and book rooms at http://www.commodityclassic.com/.
Exports commitments slowed this week after record purchases the last few weeks. Commitments are still ahead of the seasonal pace needed to meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s export target for sorghum with 42 percent of the target for the year already committed. Shipments were very strong with China, Mexico and Nigeria taking delivery of 9.2 million bushels. These shipments helped increase prices on the Gulf, where sorghum for December and January delivery is priced at 105 percent of corn and 103 percent of corn, respectively.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Dec. 9 High Plains Ag Conference, Lubbock, Texas
Dec. 12-14 National Black Growers Council Annual Meeting, Tunica, Mississippi
Dec. 13-15 USCP Board of Directors Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
Dec. 13 55th Blackland Income Growth Conference, Bryan, Texas
Dec. 23-26 NSP/USCP Office Closed, Lubbock, Texas
Dec. 30-Jan. 2 NSP/USCP Office Closed, Lubbock, Texas
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.
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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.