Consider Sorghum Reference Price When Making Planting Decisions
Sorghum producers should consider the impact of the $3.95 reference price for sorghum when making 2017 planting decisions as National Sorghum Producers believes significant upside potential exists for 2018 Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program payments. This probability is of particular importance for producers with generic base (cotton) acres. For example, a producer planting sorghum on generic base acres with a PLC yield of 70 bushels would receive a payment of $47.60 per acre if the national marketing year average price for the crop planted this spring is $3.15. Producers should remember a commodity rally would mean additional market value, not lost program payment opportunity. A market rally is likely to include all commodities, thus reducing all program payments. This makes the $3.95 reference price a true price floor.
Trump Mum on Agriculture Secretary, But Adds to USDA Transition Team
President-elect Donald Trump has yet to name a Secretary of Agriculture, although former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is reported as a frontrunner for the position. Perdue grew up on a row crop farm, served as Georgia governor from 2003-2011 and owns a number of agriculture related businesses. He is also an original member of Trump’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.
The Trump transition team did, however, add two new members to the landing team at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Carrie Castille served in the Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner’s cabinet, advising on policy issues including the 2014 farm bill. Lance Kotschar is the current chief ethics and compliance officer and vice-president for government and industry affairs at The Gavilon Group. The pair joins Brian Klipenstein, executive director of Protect the Harvest, who joined the landing team in December. Find more information here.
Trump Picks Lighthizer for USTR
President-elect Donald Trump named Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative. Lighthizer served as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative under President Ronald Reagan and negotiated around two dozen bilateral agreements in that role. Since that time, he has led the international trade law practice at Skadden, Arps Slate, Meagher and Flom. Read more information here.
House Passes Legislation to Block Midnight Regulations
The House of Representatives passed legislation on the second day of the 115th Congress which would allow Congress to block multiple regulations completed in the final year of a president’s term, commonly referred to as midnight regulations, through a single measure. Currently, a separate bill is required to block each individual regulation under the Congressional Review Act. The House passed an identical bill in November, but received a White House veto threat. Further action will likely be delayed until after President-elect Donald Trump assumes office.
USDA Offers CRP Early Termination for Transfers to Beginning Farmers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that beginning Jan. 9, 2017, farmers holding certain Conservation Reserve Program contracts can terminate the contracts early if selling or leasing with the option to buy to beginning farmers and ranchers, including family members. The new policy waives the previous requirement that required landowners who terminated a CRP contract early to repay all previous CRP payments plus interest. Read more information here.
Commodity Classic Early Registration Ends January 12
The early registration discount for the 2017 Commodity Classic ends on Jan. 12, 2017. Register today to attend the largest farmer-focused, farmer-led event. The 2017 Commodity Classic runs March 2-4, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Jan. 10 Sorghum U, Wichita, Kansas
Jan. 12 Oklahoma Sorghum Meeting, Garfield County Extension Center, Oklahoma
Jan. 12 Sorghum U, Hays, Kansas
Jan. 11-12 South Carolina AgriBiz & Farm Expo, Florence, South Carolina
Jan. 16-18 Cover Your Acres, Oberlin, Kansas
Jan. 17 Brownfield Ag Conference, Brownfield, Texas
Jan. 18 New Mexico Sorghum Association Meeting, Clovis, New Mexico
Jan. 24-25 No-Till on the Plains, Salina, Kansas
Jan. 30-Feb. 2 NSP DC Fly-In/Leadership Sorghum, Washington, DC
Jan. 31 2017 K-State Sorghum School, Colby, Kansas
Feb. 1 2017 K-State Sorghum School, Wichita, Kansas
Feb. 2 2017 K-State Sorghum School, Concordia, Kansas
Feb. 3 2017 K-State Sorghum School, Iola, Kansas
Feb. 8 Kansas Commodity Classic, Manhattan, Kansas
Feb.23-24 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Arlington, Virginia
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.