Last Chance to Comment on Atrazine/Propazine
October 4 is the last day to submit comments regarding the re-registration of atrazine, propazine and simazine. If the Environmental Protection Agency continues to use the same false logic or endpoints as noted in the preliminary assessment, atrazine would be rendered useless in controlling weeds on 90 percent of the acres in the U.S.–effectively eliminating the product. Learn more or comment directly at http://sorghumgrowers.com/sorghumalert/.
Preliminary Duties Announced against U.S. DDGS from China
China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a preliminary determination claiming that U.S. dried distiller’s grains with or without solubles (DDGS) are being dumped and have caused injury to China’s DDGS industry. In response, the U.S. Grains Council, the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy released a statement that stated: “We welcome opportunities to work together with the Chinese government, Chinese feed producers and consumers to continue to meet China’s growing feed demand in a mutually beneficial way for all parties as China implements market-oriented agricultural pricing reforms.” Read the full statement here.
Sorghum Checkoff Appointments Announced
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the following producer appointments to the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board: Clayton J. Short of Assaria, Kansas; Martin G. Kerschen of Garden Plain, Kansas; Kent L. Martin of Carmen, Oklahoma; and Daniel L. Krienke of Perryton, Texas. Directors will be sworn in during the December Sorghum Checkoff board meeting and will serve three-year terms. Read more here.
Sorghum Growers Should Brush Up on LDPs
With harvest quickly approaching and cash prizes already below $3.00, producers must be cognizant of payment limits. Payments on all program crops will count toward the $125,000 per entity limit. The posted sorghum prices in most counties are just over $0.50 away from falling below the loan rate, and many producers are still claiming loan deficiency payments (LDPs) on wheat. Producers must remember all these payments will count toward the 2016/17 limit. Sorghum PLC payments will likely be very large due to the $3.95 reference price, so it is important producers do not let LDPs limit these and other program payments.
Producers can avoid this situation and claim the equivaent of an LDP by using the commodity certificate exchange (CCE) option. Under this scenario, producers can take out a marketing assistance loan then immediately repay the loan with CCE certficiates. Art Barnaby, Ph.D., agricultural eceonomics professor at Kansas State Univeristy, has assembed two short publications on this topic. Please read http://www.agmanager.info/avoid-being-caught-payment-limit and http://www.agmanager.info/farmers-may-use-certificates-avoid-payment-limit for more information.
Sulfoxaflor Section 18 Granted in Arizona
Sorghum growers in Arizona can now use sulfoxaflor, the active ingredient in Transform, to treat sugarcane aphids in grain sorghum during the 2016 growing season. Producers in Arizona must apply to use Transform with the Arizona Department of Agriculture to receive a use label.
This Section 18 emergency use exemption for Transform granted by the Environmental Protection Agency gives farmers in those states more options to treat the pest. Section 18 exemptions have already been granted in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Visit sorghumcheckoff.com to learn more.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ratifies Seed Treaty
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations successfully ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The treaty, supported by National Sorghum Producers and other agricultural organizations, will create a specialized, global system for the management and exchange of plant genetic resources from international gene banks. Read more here.
Court Rules OSHA Acted Illegally on New Safety Requirements for Fertilizer Dealers
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration acted illegally in not allowing a public comment period before imposing new safety requirements for fertilizer dealers and users, particularly with regard to handling anhydrous ammonia. Read the full decision here.
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Proposed as Endangered Species
On Sept. 22, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, troubling news for farmers, pesticide manufacturers, property developers, timber harvesters and others. If listed, the bumble bee would be the first bee species listed as an endangered species in the continental U.S. Public comments will be accepted through Nov. 21, 2016, here.
USDA and DOE Fund Five New Projects in 2016 for Biomass Genomics Research
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative selected seven projects totaling in $7.8 million for biobased-fuel research. The awards include one million dollars for the project Resistance to Stalk Pathogens for Bioenergy Sorghum, headed by Deanna Funnell-Harris of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Lincoln, Nebraska. The project will identify markers to help develop bioenergy sorghum with resistance to increasing disease and environmental stresses. Read more here.
Enter the NSP Yield Contest
Do not forget to enter the 2016 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest! The contest provides sorghum farmers with the opportunity to showcase their sorghum crop, competing with farmers across the Sorghum Belt. Winners are recognized each year in conjunction with Commodity Classic. Visit http://sorghumgrowers.com/yield-contest/ to learn more. Make sure to read the updated 2016 NSP Yield Contest rules and enter your acres today!
Export commitments reached near-record levels in the third week of the 2016/17 marketing year with China purchasing 8.9 million bushels. This commitment brings the total for the marketing year to 39.0 million bushels or 15.6 percent of the USDA export target. This pace exceeds last year’s pace as the five-year and 10-year averages for the first month of the marketing year with a week left in September. Shipments were also very strong as China, Indonesia and South Korea took delivery of 4.7 million bushels. Export bids on the Gulf were up to 108 percent of the price of corn for October delivery and 102 percent for November delivery.
Sorghum Crop Update
As of Sept. 25, 34 percent of the U.S. sorghum crop had been harvested, slightly behind last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Crop maturity advanced to 61 percent complete, equal to last year but 9 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Overall, 66 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week but slightly better than at the same time last year.
Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Upcoming Sorghum Events
Oct. 15-18 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, Boston, Massachusetts
Oct. 24-26 Export Exchange, Detroit, Michigan
Oct. 24-26 Kansas Ag Aviation Association Convention, Wichita, Kansas
Nov. 7-9 Leadership Sorghum-Kansas Session, Kansas
Nov. 9-10 NAFB, Kansas City, Missouri
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.