Like an army of soldiers advancing across the South Plains, tumbleweeds roll quickly
past, leaving traces of their irritating seed, building up on fence rows and serving as literal
sharp reminders of the wide open and often unforgiving conditions we face in the middle of the Sorghum Belt. My heart and my prayers go out to my neighbors and friends to the north, particularly in Kansas, who were recently ravaged by fires and devastating winds that wiped out livestock, structures, homes and even lives.
If you drive down Interstate 27 between Amarillo and Lubbock on a blustering 60 mph wind day like I have done several times here in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, you can almost make a game of it–10 points for hitting the small tumbleweeds and 20 for dodging the really big ones. In 2022, farmers are going to have some things rolling our way in similar fashion. Some will be easy to drive over and move on, but others will be quite large and require precise maneuvers to tackle and overcome.
Safeguarding crop protection tools like atrazine and others, speaking of tumbleweeds, could be a large initiative for the sorghum industry this year. I hope we can count on you when and if the time comes, and I would encourage you to read page 4 on what’s at stake and the steps you can take, starting today, to help. From regulations, to rural development issues, ethanol policy, and starting a new farm bill, 2022 will be an all-hands-on-deck type of year.
Tough times also present unseen opportunities. As programs and funding relating to climate smart agriculture evolve, National Sorghum Producers is focused on how sorghum is recognized as the climate-smart, resource conserving crop and a focal center of future programs. Sorghum is a solution crop, and sorghum leaders are doing everything they can to tell the Administration and Congressional leaders why.
There truly is strength in numbers, and I thank each of you who made our end-of-year membership campaign successful. Your support is so important to myself, my fellow board members and the industry. If that envelope is still laying on the counter and you’re wondering if your contribution really matters, I promise you it does. We have first-class staff and volunteers who go to work each day with you in mind, seeking the most positive outcome for sorghum.
It’s a new year, and if you would allow me to paraphrase from lamentations 3:22-23, “we will not be consumed for His mercies never fail. They renew every morning. All we have to do is keep the faith.” I hope you had a merry Christmas, and I wish you a happy and healthy new year!