Commodity Classic 2014: Sorghum General Session

Approximately 125 producers, end-users and industry partners gathered this morning to hear presentations on issues impacting the sorghum industry during NSP’s annual Sorghum General Session at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

Organizational leadership addressed the crowd first on the direction of sorghum, its place among other major commodities, and what the future holds for the crop. NSP Chairman J.B. Stewart discussed briefly what it took to achieve the new farm bill, and EPA’s announcement of sorghum as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Sorghum Checkoff Executive Director Florentino Lopez also took the stage to give USCP’s perspective on the industry and provide attendees with updates on checkoff activities and programs, like recent developments in the export industry, the Leadership Sorghum program, Sorghum U educational series, and the “Sorghum: The Smart Choice” branding initiative.

Next, Katharine Armstrong, president of Natural Resources Solutions, spoke to the gathering about the impact of endangered species regulations. NRS is an Austin-based consulting firm specializing in finding practical and innovative solutions to both regulatory and non-regulatory natural resource and environmental issues.

A panel of foreign trade experts then answered questions regarding a recent series of grain sorghum shipments to China and various other export topics. Bob Vanderloo of Cargill, Alvaro Cordero with the U.S. Grains Council, and Adam Baldwin, a sorghum producer from McPherson, Kan., made up the panel.

Wayne Schumacher is the new technology manager for DuPont Crop Protection’s Row Crops Business Unit. He provided the crowd with an update on times and expectations regarding Inzen, and new sorghum trait that allows for better weed management.

Lastly, Dr. Kevin Dhuyvetter, professor of ag economics at Kansas State University, presented high-level economic information, data and research for growers in the traditional sorghum belt, highlighting sorghum’s competitive financial advantages over other grain crops under the right conditions.

Tomorrow, NSP Chairman J.B. Stewart joins the leadership from the other three commodities on stage during the Commodity Classic General Session. Check back here for another update tomorrow night.