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Sorghum Notes | August 3, 2017

Sorghum Notes | August 3, 2017

August 3, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

House in Recess, Senate still in Session
The House has started their August recess, but due to healthcare debate delays, the Senate is scheduled to remain in session until mid-August.

Though in recess, the House Ag Committee will continue hosting farm bill listening sessions across the country to determine the exact needs of farmers and ranchers in the upcoming farm bill. They are in Morgan, Minnesota, today and will be in Modesto, California, on August 5. They will wrap up the listening sessions August 31 in Decatur, Illinois at the Farm Progress Show.

Sorghum Growers Testify at Farm Bill Listening Session
The House Agriculture Committee held a Farm Bill Listening Session in San Angelo Monday where several sorghum growers were able to speak on behalf of the industry. Kody Carson, National Sorghum Producers board member of Olton, Texas, Dale Artho, sorghum producer of Wildorado, Texas, and Mike Henson, sorghum producer of Ropesville, Texas, explained how PLC has worked as intended for sorghum growers but how ARC needs improvement. They also explained the need for a good conservation and energy titles to support sorghum growers and their biofuels customers.

Seven of the House Ag Committee members were in attendance alongside Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), including Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Darren Soto (D-FL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and David Rouzer (R-NC). After the session, Chairman Conaway reassured the packed room that the committee was ready to write a farm bill that worked for all producers and that they would begin working on a new farm bill within the next eight weeks with a goal of getting it on the House floor by the end of the year. Watch the full committee listening session here.

Meanwhile in the Senate, the Senate Ag Committee is also working quickly on a new farm bill. At last week’s Senate Ag Hearing, Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) asked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for two days of floor time for the farm bill this fall.

Iowa and Nebraska Governors Ask EPA to Pump Up Advanced Biofuels
On Tuesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts asked the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of biomass-based biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol in its final biofuels rule. The Renewable Fuel Standard proposed by the EPA in early July would keep conventional ethanol at the statutory maximum of 15 billion gallons next year, drop the level of cellulosic biofuel 73 million gallons to 238 million gallons in 2018 and maintain the biomass-based diesel standard for 2019 at the 2018 levels of 2.1 billion gallons. The two Republican governors were joined in support from Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).

They told a panel of EPA staff that companies had the capacity to produce far more than the 2.1 billion gallons the agency proposed. The group also asked EPA to increase cellulosic volumes, which EPA proposed to reduce by 23 percent in 2018. All three praised the EPA for getting a proposal out approximately on time, a dig at the Obama administration, which missed deadlines so badly it set requirements for 2014 and 2015 in conjunction with a rule for 2016. They were also pleased that the agency kept conventional biofuels, typically filled by corn-based ethanol, at the maximum level.

Department of Agriculture Nominations Sent to the Senate
President Trump nominated Sam Clovis to serve in the top science post and Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney to oversee trade and foreign agriculture issues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture two weeks ago. Yesterday, these two nominations were formally sent to the Senate. They will go through a hearing with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in order to be confirmed.

Crop Update
By week’s end, 49 percent of the nation’s sorghum was at or beyond the heading stage, 10 percentage points behind last year and three points behind the five-year average. Heading development was nearing completion in the Delta. Nationally, 23 percent of this year’s crop was at or beyond the coloring stage, three percentage points behind last year and five points behind the five-year average. Coloring was behind the five-year average in seven of the eleven estimating states. Overall, 61 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition.

Export Report
This week was a very strong week for sorghum exports with China committing to purchase 6.4 million bushels. This brings the total commitments for the year to 190.3 million bushels, 88 percent of the USDA export target. Exports are still on track with the five-year average pace and last year’s pace. Deliveries were strong with shipments to China and Mexico totaling 6.6 million bushels. Prices on the Gulf Coast were stable for September delivery at 117 percent corn prices or $4.77.

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:
Nebraska Researcher using Sorghum for Textile Dye – IANR News
Threat to Sorghum: First Report of Sugarcane Aphid In Kansas For This Year – Ag Professional
Plant Scientists Aim to Turn Sorghum into Jet Fuel – KTIC Radio
Shaping the Next Farm Bill – KGNC

Upcoming Sorghum Events  
Aug. 1              NSP/BASF Scholarship Applications Open
Aug. 8-9           NSP Budget and Board Meeting, Wichita, KS
Aug. 14-15       Mexico Sorghum Pet Food Team Tour, Kansas
Aug. 15-16       USCP Board Meeting, Dallas, TX
Aug. 20-23       MISE Conference, Atlanta, GA
Aug. 29            Randall County Crop Tour, Canyon, TX
Aug. 30            Rolling Plains Summer Crops Field Day
Sep. 4              Labor Day – NSP & USCP offices closed

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.

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
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw