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SORGHUM E-Notes | May 11, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | May 11, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | May 11, 2018

The voice of the sorghum industry


Kansas Legislative Funding Win for Sorghum
The Kansas Legislature adjourned but not before giving a win to Kansas sorghum farmers. After a coordinated effort by the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, its growers, staff and legislative leadership, a $150,000 line item was included in the the Kansas Department of Agriculture budget for sorghum research for FY19. These funds will be leveraged through the Center for Sorghum Improvement.

U.S. Grains Council, Industry Engage International Buyers on U.S. Sorghum
After China announced a 178.6 percent tariff in a preliminary decision on the anti-dumping case just a few weeks ago, ships loaded with U.S. sorghum needed new destinations. An industry-wide effort between National Sorghum Producers, the Sorghum Checkoff, U.S. Grains Council and state sorghum associations to reroute grain has been critical. Read more about Council and industry efforts and details on shipments here.

Ag Committee Chairmen Meet with President Trump 
President Trump met with House and Senate Chairmen, Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), to discuss the upcoming farm bill. Conaway is in the process of formally whipping votes for the farm bill, which is expected to reach the House floor next week. Conaway may have an up-hill battle as all 215 Republican votes will be needed since Democrats have vowed to not support the bill due to concerns about proposed changes to SNAP. The deadline for filing amendments on the farm bill was 10 a.m. Friday. The list of 96 published amendments, plus the bill and committee report text, can be found here.

Subcommittee Passes FY 2019 Ag Appropriations Bill
This week the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee held a meeting to mark up the FY 2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The bill provides funding for programs to support farmers, rural communities, nutrition and food and drug safety. In total, the bill allows for $145.09 billion in funding. The legislation supports funding for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support programs that help control and eradicate harmful pests and diseases. The bill increases FY 2019 funding for APHIS by $16.5 million to $998.4 million.

The bill also includes $1.713 billion to support farmers and ranchers through farm programs, conservation and emergency loan programs. In addition to support for domestic agriculture, the bill contains $1.92 billion to support programs to promote U.S. agricultural exports and overseas food aid. These programs will help decrease chronic hunger by providing American-grown food throughout the world. The bill was approved by a voice vote without any amendments. Subcommittee Chairman Robert Aderholt said he expects the full Appropriations committee to consider the bill sometime in the middle of next week.

Shifts Coming for E15 Sales
Earlier this week, President Trump met with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), along with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to discuss biofuel policy. During the discussion a final decision was made to allow E15 to be sold year-round. The decision will allow E15 to be sold year-round. President Trump also directed Secretary Perdue and Pruitt to work together in creating a plan for biofuel exports and Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Year-round access for E15 is positive and increases demand, however, any changes to the way biofuel exports interact with RINs is expected to hurt demand for the credits.

NSP Board Directors Application Due Today
Applications to the National Sorghum Producers board of directors are due today, Friday, May 11. 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.

Export Report
Exports were firm this week as traders continued rerouting sorghum originally destined for China. Based on relationships built over the past two months, Spain purchased and immediately took delivery of 5.2 million bushels. Mexico committed to purchasing 3.0 million bushels bringing the total number of international buyers of U.S. sorghum to a near-record 10. Export sales are still on pace to reach the USDA target, which remained 245 bushels in yesterday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. As expected, the void created when China departed the market has led to numerous opportunities to interact with new buyers, and several trade missions are scheduled to continue building on these opportunities.

Crop Update
By May 6, 29 percent of this year’s sorghum crop was planted, one percentage point behind last year and even with the 5-year average. Planting was most active in Louisiana where progress advanced 34 percentage points during the week to reach 49 percent. Texas reached 84 percent, Arkansas 41 percent and Oklahoma reached 17 percent.

NAFTA Coming Down to the Wire
There is still ambiguity in NAFTA 2.0 as the May 18 deadline approaches. The uncertainty around automotive and timeline agreements could pause the renegotiation entirely. President Trump’s authority to negotiate trade deals that Congress must vote on without amendments expires July 1, coincidentally the same day of Mexico’s presidential election. U.S. officials say the May 18 deadline would secure congressional approval under Trumps existing authority, given the various timelines specific to legislation.

Sorghum in the Spotlight: 
Yes, Sorghum Growers Have Reason to Smile – Growing America
U.S. Sorghum Reaches Spain As Traders Divert More Ships From China – Successful Farming
Kansas and Nebraska Farmers Keep Planting, Praying for Rain – Successful Farming
Vessels carrying U.S. sorghum to China switch destinations to Japan, South Korea: Eikon data – Reuters
Sorghum Farmers Still Hoping For Resolution Of China Dilemma – KGNC
Warmer weather allows farmers to catch up on planting – Grand Island Independent

Upcoming Sorghum Events
May 11          NSP Board Applications Due
June 5           Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board of Directors Meeting
May 20          Today’s Dietitian Sorghum Checkoff Farm Tour

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.

Photo of the Week
NSP board members Don Bloss, Kendall Hodgson and James Born along with NSP CEO Tim Lust met with USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week to discuss ongoing support for sorghum farmers as the industry works toward solutions to mitigate import tariffs from China.
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.