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Sorghum Notes | July 27, 2017

Sorghum Notes | July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

NSP Vice Chair Dan Atkisson Testifies at Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing
Dan Atkisson, National Sorghum Producers vice chair and Legislative Committee chair, testified Tuesday at the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing titled Commodities, Credit and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill. Atkisson explained the value of risk management for his Kansas farm and other sorghum farms across the nation. He also discussed the Price Loss Coverage program, the need for sorghum research, particularly on the sugarcane aphid, eliminating regulatory burdens, the need to maintain farm bill funding and improving and strengthening crop insurance. Listen to Dan’s testimony here.

The lengthy hearing is evidence that Chairman Roberts and the rest of the Senate Ag Committee want to move fast on the next farm bill. The committee heard from general farm organizations, crop insurance professionals, agriculture lenders and other producers.

House Ag Reviews NAFTA Priorities
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week to review agriculture industry priorities for the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The hearing focused on the theme of ensuring the best deal for American agriculture through the renegotiation process. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) said in a statement, “Trade is vital to U.S. agriculture and nowhere is it more important than with our neighbors to the north and south. While I recognize there is a level of angst about renegotiating an agreement that has provided so many hard-fought gains, our nation stands to benefit from renegotiating a deal that provides additional market access and tightens trade enforcement.”

With Mexico as the second largest importer of U.S. sorghum, National Sorghum Producers wants to see NAFTA renegotiated in a way that ensures the American economy remains competitive.

WOTUS Repeal Advances
Today kicks off a 30-day comment period on withdrawing the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers posted their proposal to today’s Federal Register with comments slated to end August 26. The proposal would rescind the existing WOTUS rule and reinstate the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act the way it existed before 2015. Once the administration officially withdraws the WOTUS rule, the agencies will begin the process of developing a new version of the rule. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on where the WOTUS case will take place. Many, including farm groups, believe the case should take place in district courts. However, the federal government is adamant the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals should hear the case.

House Ag Committee Holding Farm Bill Listening Session in San Angelo
Several members of the House Agriculture Committee, including Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), will be in San Angelo, Texas, July 31 for another Farm Bill Listening Session titled “Conversations in the Field.” United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will also be in attendance and have the opportunity to share his thoughts and ideas on the upcoming farm bill. No RSVP is necessary to attend and those who wish to speak will sign up at the event. Speakers will be given two minutes each. The session, which will be held at San Angelo State University, can be live streamed here.

An additional session has been announced for August 31, 2017, at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.

Udall, Blumenthal Call for Chlorpyrifos Ban
Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) introduced a bill Tuesday to ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The bill, titled “Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017,” follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to not pull the chemical from the market. It also authorizes a National Research Council study of all organophosphates to be completed in 2019. During the news conference held Tuesday, Senators Udall and Blumenthal were joined by Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) who is planning to introduce similar legislation in the House.

Crop Update
By week’s end, 38 percent of the nation’s sorghum was at or beyond the heading stage, 10 percentage points behind last year and four points behind the five-year average. Nationally, 21 percent of this year’s crop was at or beyond the coloring stage, slightly behind last year and four percentage points behind the five-year average. Coloring was mostly limited to the lower Mississippi Valley and Southern Plains. In Texas, sorghum harvest continued in the Blacklands, Coastal Bend, Upper Coast and Southeast Texas, but neared completion in southern areas of the state. Overall, 59 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition.

Export Report
Sorghum exports remained strong this week with China committing to purchase two million bushels. This brings the total commitments for the year to 183.9 million bushels, 86 percent of the USDA export target. Exports are still ahead of the five-year average pace and very similar to last year’s pace. Deliveries were strong with shipments to China and Mexico totaling 2.1 million bushels. Prices on the Gulf Coast were stable for August delivery at 114 percent corn prices or $4.78. New crop interior bids remained steady.

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:
Creating More Linkages Across the Sorghum Value Chain – ICRISAT
SF Blog: Is Sorghum the Next Cool Food? – Successful Farming
Sugarcane Aphids Found in Area – MyPlainview
Leadership Sorghum Program – KGNC
2017 Grain Sorghum Harvest Wraps up in South Texas – Southwest Farm Press
Nebraska Researchers Part of Push to Turn Sorghum into Fuel – Nebraska TV
Kansas Farmers Testify on Risk Management before Senate Ag Committee – Today’s Producer

Upcoming Sorghum Events  
July 31          House Ag Committee Farm Bill Listening Session, San Angelo, TX
Aug. 1           NSP/BASF Scholarship Applications Open
Aug. 1-3        Leadership Sorghum Session, New Orleans, LA
Aug. 8-9        NSP Budget and Board Meeting, Wichita, KS
Aug. 15-16    USCP Board Meeting
Aug. 20-23    MISE Conference, Atlanta, GA

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
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller