NSP Submits Comments on Biotech Regulatory Framework
National Sorghum Producers submitted comments this week on the proposed Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. The update is the first in 30 years to summarize the roles of the three regulatory agencies responsible for regulating biotech products: the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In joint comments with the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, the groups emphasized the need for robust, scientifically based reviews of the regulation of biotechnology products as well as consistent transparency and attention to potential impacts on international markets. Read the comments here.
Export Sales Reach New Heights
Demand from the export market reached historic levels this week with 16 million bushels of sorghum sold since last Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service’s November 3 report. This week’s sales represent one of the highest recorded export sales of sorghum in one week.
Two months into the 2016/2017 marketing year, sorghum export commitments have reached 58 million bushels, representing 20 percent of USDA’s 2017 export projections. China is leading sorghum purchases with 40 million bushels—70 percent of total U.S. grain sorghum exports. Meanwhile Mexico has committed to 4 million bushels for the current marketing year followed by Japan. Additional export customers include Canada, Indonesia, South Korea and Nigeria.
“These sales continue to reflect China’s need for high quality feed ingredients,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “Maintaining and continuing to enhance and develop marketplaces is critical to helping farmers maximize their profit potential, and the Sorghum Checkoff and U.S. Grains Council remain engaged in current and future markets like China.”
USCP Attends Export Exchange
More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains like sorghum and related products from more than 35 countries gathered in Detroit for Export Exchange on October 24-26, 2016, hosted by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association.
Following the event, the Sorghum Checkoff along with Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas state sorghum boards hosted three trade teams from Mexico, Latin America and China to showcase U.S. sorghum and our export infrastructure. The teams traveled through the sorghum growing regions visiting with farmers, export companies and nutritionist to gain a better understanding of crop quality and availability of U.S sorghum and its application for animal feed and suggested inclusion rates.
Election Effects on Agriculture Committee Leadership
While the race for the White House dominates news coverage, the election next Tuesday could have a significant influence on who holds the gavels as Congress writes the next farm bill. Republicans will likely maintain majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives. As such, Representatives Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Collin Peteron (D-Minn.) are expected to keep their leadership positions on the House Agriculture Committee.
The scenarios are more complex in the U.S. Senate. If Republicans maintain the majority, Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will likely keep his chairmanship and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) would remain as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. However, Democrats gaining the majority in the Senate could trigger a potential shift due to term limits for chairs and ranking members, but committee leadership positions will not be confirmed until months after the election.
USDA Issues $1.7 Billion in CRP Payments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing nearly $1.7 billion in payments for protection of almost 24 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program. In the 2016 fiscal year, 1.3 million acres were newly entered into CRP using continuous enrollment, triple the amount of the previous year. The Farm Service Agency also accepted 411,000 acres through its general enrollment authority, plus 101,000 acres in the new CRP-Grasslands program. Read more here.
ARC, PLC Enrollment Open
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency opened enrollment for acreage in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2017. While farmers cannot change the election to ARC or PLC made in 2015, they must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period to receive assistance through either program if payments are triggered. The price loss for the 2016 marketing year is 64 cents per bushel or $1.14 per cwt, equating to $216 million in PLC payments made this October.
NSP Offers New Joint Scholarship with BASF
The National Sorghum Foundation and BASF announce a new joint scholarship program for the 2017-2018 school year. The jointly offered scholarships will include an award for tuition as well as cover recipients’ participation in the 2017 Commodity Classic. Applicants must be the child or grandchild of a NSP member and be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculturally related curriculum. Undergraduate applicants must be entering at least their second year of study for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested students can apply for the scholarships at http://sorghumgrowers.com/sorghum-foundation/. Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2016.
Attend 2017 Commodity Classic
Commodity Classic is where America’s best farmers go to become even better. “Farmer Up” at the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show when Commodity Classic returns to San Antonio, Texas, March 2-4, 2017. Top-notch education. A huge trade show. Thought-provoking speakers. Join top producers in learning about the latest issues and trends in the sorghum industry. Discover more and sign up for email updates at commodityclassic.com.
Sorghum Crop Update
Ninety-six percent of the sorghum was mature by week’s end, three percentage points behind last year but slightly ahead of the five-year average. Producers harvested 76 percent of the nation’s sorghum by October 30, slightly behind last year but eight percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota producers recorded double-digit harvest progress during the week.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Nov. 7-9 Leadership Sorghum Session II, Kansas
Nov. 9-10 NAFB, Kansas City, Missouri
Nov. 15-18 NSP Board Meeting and New Director Orientation, Lubbock, Texas
Nov. 24-25 NSP Office Closed for Thanksgiving, Lubbock, Texas
Nov. 28-29 Texas Sorghum Board of Directors Meeting, Amarillo, Texas
Nov. 29 Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board Meeting, Grand Island, Nebraska
Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Amarillo Farm Show, Amarillo, Texas
Dec. 13-15 USCP Board of Directors Meeting, 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.
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.