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SORGHUM E-Notes | April 16,  2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 16,  2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 16,  2018

The voice of the sorghum industry


Thank You from National Sorghum Producers
NSP would like to thank our members, congressional champions in both the Senate and the House, and industry partners who have donated time, resources and made sorghum’s challenges known at the highest levels of the United States government.

Chairman Conaway Introduces the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 – H.R. 2
On Thursday, House Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) introduced the 2018 Farm Bill which would reauthorize programs that support our nation’s farmers and ranchers in addition to nutrition assistance programs for low-income individuals and families. The path to introducing a farm bill has only recently been fraught with partisan politics, centered around proposed reforms to the nutrition assistance programs. Over three years, the committee conducted 114 hearings, six listening sessions and countless industry meetings to lay the groundwork for the 2018 Farm Bill. In recent weeks, as committee members gathered to discuss draft language in preparation for introducing the bill, Democratic members of the committee voiced opposition to moving forward with the bill over proposals to increase work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.

Chairman Conaway is determined to move forward with committee consideration of the bill despite the opposition from Democratic members. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has also indicated his desire to move forward with farm bill consideration, expressing particular support for the proposed reforms to SNAP. Turning to the Senate, the timeline for introduction of the farm bill is yet to be determined, although Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has expressed a desire to move forward soon. Senate draft language has not been released at this time, but we continue close communication with Senator Roberts’ staff as they work on language for a new farm bill.

Trump Delivers Promising News for RFS Supporters 
Building tensions over the Renewable Fuel Standards found relief in President Trump’s remarks on Thursday prior to a meeting at the White House scheduled to discuss agriculture and trade issues. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other government officials were in attendance. Trump delivered positive news endorsing the administrations considerations for a year-round E15 sales waiver. Although President Trump did not offer a guarantee, the change would allow year round sales of E15 and no longer exclude summer months. This news is gladly endorsed by the biofuels industry and would bring additional benefits to producers by expanding the growing ethanol market although there are real questions on how much it would grow their markets.

Trade Talks Include TPP 
Trade has been at the forefront of conversations as recent trade tariffs between the U.S. and China unfold. Last week China introduced proposed tariffs on multiple American products including sorghum. The proposed 25 percent tariff on the crop would be in addition to the duties that may be enforced from the ongoing investigation China launched in February. President Trump has instructed Secretary Perdue to work with other Cabinet members to create a possible solution that could shield U.S. farmers from financial harm due to China’s proposed tariffs.

Yesterday, President Trump announced the potential re-entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership to neutralize China’s emergent influence. During a meeting at the White House, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with other government officials were assigned to look into the potential U.S. re-entry into the trade pact which includes 11 other countries. The possible re-entry could be highly favorable for agriculture markets.

Speaker Paul Ryan to Retire
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced his retirement from Congress on Wednesday morning. Speaker Ryan was considered a driving force behind the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a significant piece of legislation that may serve as the cornerstone of Mr. Ryan’s legacy as Speaker. Speaker Ryan stated that he did not wish to be known to his children as a “weekend dad”. The 48-year-old Republican has dedicated 20 years of public service in Congress and will now return home to spend more time with his family. Ryan stated he has no intention of running for any political position in the future. Ryan will remain in the position of Speaker until his term expires. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is viewed as Ryan’s apparent after Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) took himself out of the running. Speaker Ryan’s retirement brings the total number of Representatives leaving the House, either due to retirement, resignation, or to run for another office, to 43.

NSP Accepting Applications for Board Directors 
National Sorghum Producers is accepting applications from candidates who wish to serve on the board of directors. Candidates for the board must be a member of the National Sorghum Producers and have a passion for working on behalf of sorghum growers through lobbying and fundraising activities. The NSP board is not limited to growers, and there is no experience necessary to apply. If you have a desire to improve the sorghum industry through one of the four available leadership positions, NSP encourages you to apply. Applications are available at and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CST on May 11, 2018. Contact Debra Lloyd at 806-749-3478 if you have any questions.

Sorghum in the 21st Century Conference Underway in Cape Town 
Sorghum in the 21st Century kicked off April 9 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference brings together more than 400 attendees in the sorghum research community from 40 countries around the world—85 of those attendees representing the United States. The program is the first of its kind in more than 20 years and the first in this century. Representatives from the U.S. hope to garner understanding of advances in sorghum technology from around the world that hold potential to help address key issues. To learn more about the conference, click here.

#RootedinAg Contest sets out to Honor Ag Mentors 
Every year, people are inspired by agriculturists to join and be involved in the industry.To thank farmers and ranchers, Syngenta has created the #RootedinAg contest. The contest allows those who have been impacted by an agriculturist to tell their story.To enter the #RootedinAg contest, contestants must fill out an entry form, describe their mentor in around 200 words and upload a photograph or video to support their written entry. For more information, click here.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Sorghum conference kicks off in South Africa – World Grain
Panhandle Farmer Says Aphid No Reason To Quit Sorghum – KGNC
Nebraska Sorghum Board Awards Two Scholarships – KTIC
Don’t Forget: China Is Still Investigating U.S. Sorghum – Ag Web
China commodities tariffs would hit Texas cotton, sorghum hardest – The Vindicator
China’s Tariff List Takes Aim at Texas Farmers and Ranchers – Chron
Sorghum Groups Announce Industry Awards – HPJ

Upcoming Sorghum Events
April 23-24   NAFB Washington Watch – Washington, D.C.
May 9           NSP Board Applications Due

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.

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:
“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.”
Mary Pickford