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Sorghum Notes | October 12, 2017

Sorghum Notes | October 12, 2017
 

SORGHUM E-Notes
October 12, 2017

NATIONAL SORGHUM PRODUCERS:
the voice of the sorghum industry

PLC Payments Issued
Beginning this month, farmers and ranchers across the country will be receiving more than $8 billion in payments through the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs for the 2016 crop year. PLC and ARC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to producers when there is a substantial drop in revenue or prices for covered commodities. Over a quarter million producers will receive PLC payments for 2016 crops, including sorghum growers. Sorghum growers across the country will receive $1.16 per bushel for a total of $373 million and a national average payment of $59.72 per acre.

Fourth Round of NAFTA Renegotiations Taking Place
The fourth round of renegotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement began Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia. In a sign of how difficult things could get, the countries extended the negotiations through Tuesday, two days longer than originally planned. Talks this round are expected to get into one of the most contentious agriculture issues, anti-dumping provisions sought by Florida tomato operations to challenge Mexican exports. U.S. agriculture is divided on the issue in fear of retaliatory actions against other commodities.

House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) took four House members to Ottawa last weekend to discuss the intent of U.S. farmers to finish the negotiations. In a statement Saturday evening, Conaway said the meetings were productive, but provided no further detail.

Senate in Recess this Week, House Has Short Week
In observance of Columbus Day, the Senate is in recess this week and the House will have a short week. The Senate is expected to work on their version of the budget resolution upon their return next week. As we noted in last week’s newsletter, the House has passed its 2018 budget resolution and is now waiting for the Senate to pass their version so the two can agree on a final budget resolution.

WASDE Report Raises Sorghum Forecast
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report has projected the national average sorghum yield at 72.2 bushels per acre, up from 69.8 bushels per acre in the September report. This is the third year in a row the national average will be above 70 bushels per acre. Until 2015-2017, the national average had never been above 70 bushels per acre in two consecutive years. This illustrates the significant strides made in sorghum production practices and genetics over the past decade.

Conaway Continuing Focus on Farm Bill Timeline
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) is meeting with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) today to talk about timing for the farm bill. He wants to ensure that he can still bring a farm bill to the floor later this year or in early 2018. In a number of interviews, Conaway has noted his intent to have a bill ready for committee consideration in November.

WOTUS Arguments at SCOTUS Look Toward Positive Outcome
The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule remains a hot topic in agriculture several years after it first grabbed producers’ attention. After a hearing held Tuesday, it is appearing that the Supreme Court might allow federal district courts to handle legal challenges to the WOTUS rule, which is exactly the outcome many farm groups are seeking. The law stipulates that appeals courts have jurisdiction over challenges to “any effluent limitation or other limitation,” as well as permit approvals or denials. Other legal disputes go to district courts. On the other side of the dispute are the Trump Administration, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation. They argue that challenges fall within the purview of appeals courts because the rule established the boundaries of the Clean Water Act’s ban on pollutant discharges and EPA’s permitting authority. The fight will likely come down to how literally the court’s nine justices read the language of the Clean Water Act.

Rounds Introduces FSA Loan Guarantee Enhancement Act
Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced legislation October 5 to enhance the United States Department of Agriculture’s farm loan programs. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loan Guarantee Enhancement Act would assist lenders in supporting producers during times of economic downturn within the ag sector. This legislation would raise USDA guaranteed ownership and operating loan guarantee from $1.4 million to $3 million. It would also increase authorized private-sector loan offerings for guaranteed operating and ownership loans from $3 billion to $8 billion and raise the authorization for direct loans up to $3 billion, to match current funding levels. Since its establishment in 1979, authorization amounts and funding for FSA loans have never been increased.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest
Sorghum harvest is, or will soon be, underway for many. We pray for a safe and bountiful harvest for all of our sorghum growers and remind you to enter the National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest before beginning harvest. The NSP Yield Contest provides sorghum farmers with the opportunity to showcase your sorghum crop, competing with farmers across the Sorghum Belt. This contest allows our industry to recognize some of the best growers in the U.S. and helps farmers to grow and learn from one another.

Entry forms must be postmarked, emailed or faxed at least 10 days prior to harvest of the contest acreage. Harvest rules, a harvest report form, and a management information form will be mailed to the contestant as soon as the entry entry is received. All forms must be completed and in the NSP office no later than December 1. For more information, click here.

ATTENTION: College Students in Need of a Scholarship?
Applications for the National Sorghum Foundation-BASF Joint Scholarship are now open. The scholarship will include a tuition award for the 2018-2019 school year as well as cover recipients’ cost to attend the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculturally related curriculum. Students must be a child or grandchild of an NSP member, and undergraduates must be entering at least their second year of study by the 2018-2019 academic year.

Click here to download the application. Applications are due December 1, 2017. For questions or to submit application materials, please contact Debra Lloyd at debral@sorghumgrowers.com or 806-749-3478.

Crop Update
By week’s end, sorghum coloring had advanced to 97 percent complete, two percentage points behind last year but equal to the five-year average. Maturity of the nation’s sorghum advanced to 69 percent complete by October 8, 11 percentage points behind last year and four points behind the five-year average. Producers had harvested 35 percent of the nation’s crop by week’s end, 12 percentage points behind last year and eight points behind the five-year average. Overall, 64 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week but slightly lower than at the same time last year.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Too Much Rain on the High Plains Impacting Crops – MyHighPlains.com
Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission invests nearly $1 million to improve crop – High Plains Journal
Milo Vodka, Grassroots Vodka Handcrafted in South Central Kansas – High Plains Journal

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Oct. 17-19      Sunbelt Ag Expo, Moultrie, GA
Oct. 17           San Patricio County Sorghum PAC Lunch, Sinton, TX
Oct. 17           Rio Grande Valley Sorghum PAC Dinner, Monte Alto, TX
Oct. 18           Nueces County Sorghum PAC Dinner, Robstown, TX
Oct. 21-24      Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Chicago, IL
Nov. 8-9         NAFB Trade Talk, Kansas City

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, on Facebook and Instagram @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
“Patience attracts happiness; it brings near that which is far.” -Swahili Proverb