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Sorghum Notes | July 13, 2017

Sorghum Notes | July 13, 2017

July 13, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

Agriculture Spending Bill Advanced to House Floor
The House Appropriations Committee advanced the fiscal year 2018 agriculture spending bill to the House floor by a voice vote yesterday. The bill provides $20 billion in discretionary spending programs at the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This is an $876 million cut from 2017 but $4.64 billion more than President Trump requested. The combined total of both discretionary and mandatory spending is $144.9 billion. Mandatory spending programs include nutrition, crop insurance and farm subsidies. Some provisions in the bill include providing $1.5 million to USDA and FDA to continue educating consumers on the safety of biotechnology, $1 million for providing access to healthy food in low-income areas, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to close 17 agricultural facilities, and directing the USDA to work with the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department on rural broadband expansion.

House Budget Delayed
The House Budget Committee has again delayed a markup of the fiscal 2018 budget resolution. Disagreements over mandatory spending cuts have caused what is now the third delay in three weeks. The committee had proposed to order 12 authorizing committees to write legislation that would reduce the deficit by $200 billion over 10 years, but there are conflicting opinions over what that number should actually be. Markup of the budget is now tentatively scheduled for July 19.

If mark up occurs next week, the House could vote on and introduce a budget resolution prior to the August recess. However, any further delays could table the entire budget resolution until September. National Sorghum Producers will continue to update you as this process unfolds.

Anti-WOTUS Measures Continue
Two House spending bills targeting the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule are closer to becoming law. The House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal 2018 energy and water spending bill yesterday and the House appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the Environmental Protection Agency sent its spending bill to the full committee for consideration. Together, the bills authorize the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the WOTUS rule by bypassing the notice and comment process that are normally required by the Administrative Procedure Act to repeal a rule. National Sorghum Producers supports these measures as this helps alleviate unnecessary regulations for sorghum farmers.

USDA Nominees Could be Near
The White House could be on the verge of announcing some nominees for top United States Department of Agriculture positions. Pending nominations include Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, as Deputy Secretary. National Sorghum Producers recently signed a letter to the White House urging President Trump to quickly fill these key appointments as rural America is in need of strong leadership at USDA. Read the letter here.

Chinese Delegation Signs Sorghum Letters of Intent
At an event hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council today in Des Moines, a Chinese delegation signed a letter of intent to continue purchasing U.S. sorghum. David Fremark, chairman of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, provided opening comments on behalf of the sorghum industry, noting how important the Chinese market is for U.S. sorghum farmers. Chinese sorghum purchases have created other market opportunities in Japan, Mexico and other countries with total exports accounting for 40 percent of sorghum’s total marketshare. Since entering the marketplace in 2013, sorghum exports to China are expected to exceed 1 billion bushels next marketing year.

Crop Update
Nationally, 28 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the heading stage by July 9, three percentage points behind last year but slightly ahead of the five-year average. With progress limited to Louisiana and Texas, coloring advanced to 18 percent, two percentage points ahead of last year and slightly ahead of the five-year average. In Texas, sorghum harvest was in full swing in parts of the Coastal Bend, Upper Coast, South Texas and the Lower Valley. Overall, 63 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, up slightly from last week but six percentage points lower than at the same time last year.

Export Report
Sorghum exports were strong this week with China and Mexico committing to purchase 2.3 million bushels. China committed to purchase 90 percent of the new commitments, signaling continued strong demand by China. This brings total commitments for the year to 179 million bushels, or 83 percent, of the USDA export target. Exports are still ahead of the five year average pace and very similar to last year’s pace. Deliveries were stable with shipments to China and Mexico totaling 4.1 million bushels. Prices on the Gulf Coast were stable for July delivery at 120 percent corn prices or $4.83. New crop interior bids remained steady.

Calling all Century Farm Owners
If you own a Century Farm, we want to hear your story! Please email or call 800-658-9808.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Hail Damage Across High Plains Being Evaluated – My Plainview
U.S. Sorghum Players Look to Woo Chinese Buyers – Feed Navigator
Chinese Sorghum Team Visits Kansas – High Plains Journal
BMR Sorghum Sudangrass Provides Excellent Dairy Feed – Dairy Herd Management
Sorghum’s on More Menus – KGNC
Nature’s Super Grain: Sorghum – Sound Bites podcast

Upcoming Sorghum Events  
July 15-19       Florida Food & Nutrition Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Aug. 1             NSP/BASF Scholarship Applications Open
Aug. 1-3          Leadership Sorghum Session, New Orleans, LA
Aug. 8-9          NSP Budget and Board Meeting, Wichita, KS
Aug. 20-23      MISE Conference, Atlanta, GA

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.

About Sorghum Notes
Sorghum Notes is a publication of the National Sorghum Producers. NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry from coast to coast through education and legislative and regulatory representation.

Quote of the Week

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
– Auguste Rodin