NSP Announces Yield Contest Winners
National Sorghum Producers announced the winners of the 2016 NSP Yield Contest. Farmers from 28 states entered into 10 different categories in this year’s contest with this year’s top yield recorded at 208.40 bushels per acre. The national winners will be formally recognized at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, on March 3, 2017, at an awards dinner sponsored by DuPont Pioneer. Find a full list of categories and winners here.
DOE Announces $70 Million in Funding for New Programs
The U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $70 million in funding for its two newest programs, including the Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration. Under the ROOTS program, 10 projects will receive $35 million to develop advanced technologies and crop cultivars to improve soil quality. If successful, ROOTS projects will enable an increase in soil carbon accumulation while reducing nitrous oxide emissions and increasing water productivity. Funding allocations of $6 million to Sandia National Laboratories and Texas A&M AgriLife Research will focus on improving sorghum varieties with increased root biomass and the development of a portable magnetic resonance imaging system for field imaging of root architecture and soil water distribution. For more information on ROOTS, click here.
Sorghum Checkoff Swears In Board of Directors
On Dec. 14, 2016, The Sorghum Checkoff swore in its board of directors. Oklahoma’s Kent Martin was newly appointed, and returning members include Martin Kerschen of Garden Plain, Kansas, Daniel Krienke of Perryton, Texas, and Clayton Short of Assaria, Kansas. New leadership on the board includes David Fremark of St. Lawerence, South Dakota, who will serve as chairman, Krienke as vice chairman, Short as secretary and Verity Ullibarri of McAlister, New Mexico, as treasurer. Kathy Brorman of Hereford, Texas, completed her term as a board director. The board members will serve a three-year term. To read more, click here.
H.R. 2028 Clears the House and Senate
On Dec. 9, 2016, the Senate cleared legislation H.R. 2028, which included a fiscal year 2017 continuing resolution (CR), funding the federal government through April 28, 2017. The legislation passed through the House earlier in the week, by vote of 326 to 96, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama. As enacted, H.R. 2028 will maintain funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program at fully authorized levels of $200 million and $34.5 million respectively. The CR will give the new Trump administration and the new Congress time to decide how to handle funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. The House of Representatives and Senate have adjourned and will reconvene Jan. 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress begins.
EPA SAP Discusses Glyphosate
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) met to discuss scientific issues regarding the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. In October 2016, the meeting was postponed due to changes in the experts on the panel. The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs concluded available scientific data supports glyphosate is not likely carcinogenic in a report released on Friday, September 16. Find more information here.
Trump Announces More Cabinet Picks
President-elect Donald Trump has announced picks for several more positions in his cabinet. The President-elect tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Texas governor and former Texas agriculture commissioner Rick Perry as the new Energy Secretary and Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Republican Montana congressman and former Navy SEAL commander, as Interior Secretary. Trump has not yet announced his pick for Secretary of Agriculture. Read more on President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks here.
Klippenstein Joins USDA Landing Team
On Dec. 9, 2016, Brian Klippenstein was announced as part of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition landing team for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Klippenstein, the executive director of Protect the Harvest, is a Missouri native who serves on Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. He has spent more than 25 years working for multiple senators including Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), former Rep. Tom Coleman (R-Mo.) and former Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.). The only other named member of the USDA transition team to date is Joel Leftwich, Republican staff director for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Shareowners Approve Monsanto Merger with Bayer
Monsanto shareholders approved the merger with Bayer CropScience during a special meeting on Dec. 13, 2016. Under the agreement, at the closing of the merger currently expected by the end of 2017, Monsanto shareholders will receive $128 per share in cash. To read more on the merger, click here.
Sorghum continued strong sales this week with a total of 10.2 million bushels. China led the export commitments with 8.2 million bushels this week. These sales bring total commitments for the current marketing year to 114.73 million bushels. China currently represents 70.1 percent of the current total market year commitments.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Sorghum Events
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.