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Sorghum Notes | August 24, 2017

Sorghum Notes | August 24, 2017

August 24, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

WOTUS Comment Period Extended
The public comment period deadline on the Waters of the United States rule has been extended to September 27. The flawed WOTUS rule, which threatened the livelihood of farmers and ranchers all across the nation, was halted by both a federal district court and federal court of appeals for reaching beyond the law. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal that would eliminate the 2015 WOTUS rule and allow the agency to develop a rule that doesn’t create a huge regulatory burden for agriculture.

We encourage you to submit comments to the EPA in support of this repeal. You may submit your comments here:

NAFTA 2.0 Renegotiations – Round One Recap
Government officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico met in Washington, D.C., August 16-20 for five full days of meetings covering rounds of negotiation topics. Subject matter experts presented proposals and comments related to various topics affecting the agriculture industry. The three countries have committed to an aggressive schedule to work through the negotiating texts. The second round of negotiations will reconvene in Mexico City from September 1-5, continue in Canada in late September, and return to the United States in October.

In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the first round of talks, the three countries noted a commitment “to an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process that will upgrade our agreement and establish 21 st century standards to the benefit of our citizens.”

In a statement at the first round of NAFTA negotiations, the U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Lighthizer said, “the views of the President about NAFTA, which I completely share, are well
known. I want to be clear that he is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a
couple of updated chapters. We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many
Americans and needs major improvement.” Indeed, the President has threatened withdrawal
from the deal and just this week remarked that we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at
some point. However, Ambassador Lighthizer and other leaders in the Administration have
acknowledged that NAFTA has benefitted farmers and ranchers, many of whom count on
Canada and Mexico as their largest export markets.

The United States previously announced its negotiating objectives—jointly developed between
Congress and the Administration– with respect to NAFTA. Among those goals are reviewing the
trade deficit and other imbalances, rules of origin (particularly in the automotive sector), the
inclusion of labor provisions in the agreement, rules against currency manipulation, redesigned
dispute settlement, government procurement and anti-dumping provisions.

The first round ended without a strong agreement on the exact issues and number of chapters to include in the modernized and renegotiated agreement. For certain, the parties have a lot of negotiating text to work through in the coming months, and they are working against the clock to finish ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in the United States and the Presidential election in Mexico.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest
The National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest provides sorghum farmers with the opportunity to showcase their sorghum crop, competing with farmers across the Sorghum Belt. This contest allows our industry to recognize some of the best growers in the U.S. and helps farmers to grow and learn from one another.

NSP has set a yield goal of 250 bushels per acre or more to illustrate sorghum’s yield potential. All division placings will be determined by yield only. NSP is offering incentives with support from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to award growers who reach this new benchmark. Contestants successfully participating in this category will receive:

  • 1st Place – Three-year truck lease (Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge or Toyota)
  • 2nd Place – All-terrain vehicle
  • 3rd Place – Riding lawn mower

Entry forms must be postmarked at least ten days before harvest. Harvest Report Forms and Management Information Forms must be completed and returned to the NSP office no later than Dec. 1, 2017. Click here for more information:

NSP-BASF Joint Scholarship Application Now Open
Applications for the National Sorghum Foundation-BASF Joint Scholarship are now open. The scholarship will include a tuition award for the 2018-2019 school year as well as cover recipients’ cost to attend the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculturally related curriculum. Students must be a child or grandchild of an NSP member, and undergraduates must be entering at least their second year of study by the 2018-2019 academic year.

Click here to download the application. For questions or to submit application materials, please contact Debra Lloyd at or 806-749-3478.

Crop Update
Heading of this year’s sorghum crop was 84 percent complete by week’s end, four percentage points behind last year but two percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Nationally, coloring advanced to 40 percent complete by August 20, 11 percentage points behind last year and five percentage points behind the five-year average. Twenty-six percent of the nation’s sorghum crop was reported as mature by week’s end, two percentage points behind both last year and the five-year average. With progress limited to the Delta and Texas, producers had harvested 19 percent of the sorghum acreage by week’s end, three percentage points ahead of last year and slightly ahead of the five-year average. Overall, 66 percent of the sorghum crop was reported in good to excellent condition, up two percentage points from last week and slightly better than at the same time last year.

Export Report
Exports were very strong this week with China, Japan and Taiwan committing to purchase 1.7 million bushels of 2016/2017 sorghum and China, Japan and Mexico committing to purchase 5.4 million bushels of 2017/2018 sorghum. This commitment brings total purchases of new crop sorghum to 16 million bushels, 7.7 percent of the USDA target two weeks before the beginning of the marketing year. Gulf basis strengthened on these commitments with spot sorghum prices increasing to 119 percent of corn or $4.69 per bushel. Interior basis remains weak on large crop expectations, but northern plains and Mississippi River sorghum bids are higher than those of corn in many cases.

Calling all Century Farm Owners
If you own a Century Farm, we want to hear your story! Please email or call 800-658-9808.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Study: Kansas sorghum needs to tap genetic diversity for heat stress – The Mercury
Sorghum to Dear for Buyers, Too Cheap For Sellers – Grain Central
Promoting Sorghum – KGNC

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Aug. 29            Randall County Crop Tour, Canyon, TX
Aug. 30            Rolling Plains Summer Crops Field Day – Chillicothe, TX
Sep. 4              Labor Day – NSP & USCP offices closed
Sept. 6            Sorghum Field Day – Mike Baker Farm, Trenton, NE
Sept. 7            Sorghum Field Day – John Dolnicek Farm, Lawrence, NE
Sept. 8            Sorghum Field Day – John Dvoracek Farm, Farwell, NE

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, on Facebook and Instagram @SorghumCheckoff.

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 will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential. These are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” -Confucius