Most roller coasters don’t experience as many ups and downs as sorghum has had in 2018. Going into the start of the year, we had just completed a tax cut bill, knew we likely were setting up for a farm bill and hopefully an immigration bill. But trade wars are never something that you put in your short-term strategic plans.
Sorghum clearly found ourselves at the tip of the spear in the China trade battle. We have spent a tremendous amount of time and resources in the last seven months working to maintain access to our largest market. While we are currently back under a 25 percent tariff with China, we can potentially still trade with that tariff as opposed to the 178 percent tariff that completely stopped all trade this spring.
I am so appreciative of all the friends we have in private industry, in the Administration, on Capitol Hill and individual sorghum farmers who helped us get out from under the anti-dumping tariff in addition to the countervailing duty case. In times like these, you find out who your true friends are, and I am humbled and proud to say sorghum has many.
I would also like to recognize our staff. We have a lot of “farm kids” that work for Team Sorghum, and much like many of your operations this year, “harvest” dragged on for our team for three months with a lot of long days and short nights working to comply with the case dispute process.
NSP leadership was back in Washington, D.C., just a few weeks ago meeting again with the Secretary of Agriculture and the new EPA Administrator as we continue to try to take care of the needs of the industry. If you missed a recent quote from Secretary Purdue, I believe it really catches the spirit of our growers and industry. He said, “[Farmers] are patriots, but they also know that patriotism can’t pay the bills.”
We will continue to work with this Administration and Congress for long-term trade agreements that are wins and short-term support to keep your operation viable in a tough financial time. Thank you for your support of NSP, and if you are reading this and are not a current member, I would ask that you consider supporting NSP so we can continue to be in Washington, D.C., and other places around the world, representing you.
Tim Lust, CEO