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Sorghum Notes | November 10, 2017

Sorghum Notes | November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

GOP Tax Bill Heads to House Floor, Senate GOP Releases Tax Bill
The House Ways and Means Committee approved House Republicans’ Bill to rewrite the tax code on Thursday. After a four day debate, one of the GOP’s top legislative priorities cleared the hurdle. The measure reduces the number of individual tax rates, slashes the corporate tax rate and eliminates many deductions and credits. It was approved on a party-line vote of 24-16. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) made the only changes to the bill, including restoring the adoption tax credit, additional tax relief for pass-through businesses and higher tax rates on repatriated foreign earnings. Brady also offered an amendment concerning “three crucial priorities,” — helping American families, providing tax relief to Main Street startups, and increasing American competitiveness.

Farm groups from across the country are working to restore section 199 for cooperatives despite the repeal currently in the House’s version of tax reform. Repeal of section 199 would increase taxes on farmer members. With the House Ways and Means Committee going full throttle to complete its consideration of tax reform this week, farm groups have been working to land a fix in the manager’s amendment to the House bill or in the Senate version of tax reform which was unveiled Thursday.

Export Report
This week saw one of the largest ever commitments to U.S. sorghum with China purchasing 12 million bushels and bringing total commitments to 82 million just two months into the marketing year. China and Mexico also took deliveries of a significant 4.1 million bushels bringing total shipments to 23 million bushels. This maintains the pace needed to reach one billion bushels shipped to China by early spring 2018. Basis was steady on this strength.  It should be noted Chinese buyers continue to express strong interest in sorghum for delivery beyond the 2017 crop year and producers should be mindful of future opportunities as they make plans for 2018 spring planting.

EPA Bans Scientists with Funding from Serving on Advisory Boards
Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to drop scientists who have received EPA grants from key scientific advisory groups. The decision was made to avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure advice is given from outside EPA. The new policy is said to impact hundreds of scientists collaborating on university environment and health programs. Current members of the advisory groups must choose to remain in their positions or keep their grant. Read more on the new policy here.

Farm Bill Timing Pushes to 2018
A report was published this week suggesting the House Agriculture Committee is putting the finishing touches on the 2018 Farm Bill.  The report states that, while few details are known, the Committee faced substantial financial challenges in attempting to fund the proposals that have been put forward by stakeholders. News from the House Agriculture Committee indicates it will be early 2018 before introduction of the legislation when House leadership guarantees floor time for its consideration. Read the recent report on the House Agriculture Committee’s work on the 2018 Farm Bill here.

NSP and USCP Attend Farm Broadcasting Convention
National Sorghum Producers and the Sorghum Checkoff participated this week in the 74th Annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. NSP board Chairman Don Bloss and staff members Tim Lust, Doug Bice and Jennifer Blackburn met with agriculture media during the annual Trade Talk event, discussing sorghum producer priorities for the farm bill, tax and trade issues plus emphasis on stong export and consumer demand.

SICNA Registration Now Open at
The Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America will take place Jan. 29-31, 2018, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. SICNA is the largest gathering of research scientist in sorghum whose mission is to promote communication and collaboration in research and development among sorghum researchers and stakeholders in cooperation with universities, research centers, public institutions and private entities. SICNA also strives to link scientists and researchers with sorghum producers and industry representatives to help drive innovation and discovery in response to the industry’s greatest challenges. Registration is now available at

Early Registration Open for Sorghum in the 21st Century 
Sorghum in the 21st Century: A Global Conference is offering reduced registration fees for delegates who register before January 15, 2018. The conference will be held April 9-12, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Delegates are encouraged to register online and registration includes access into all the scientific program sessions including conference symposia, attendance to the Welcome Reception on Monday, April 9, 2018, entrance to the exhibition area and poster displays, all relevant conference material, tea and coffee breaks and lunch daily. Click here to register for the conference.

Mark Your Calendar: Commodity Classic Registration and Housing Opens
Registration and housing opens for Commodity Classic 2018 Tuesday, November 14 at 10 a.m. Central. The Exhibitor Show Schedule and Service Kit is available to assist with arrival and departure plans for Anaheim. The Exhibitor Contact for Experient Registration and Housing Services can be reached at or 847.996.5466. Experient is the official registration and housing services company for Commodity Classic. In order to register on Nov.14, all relevant information is needed including ID, passwords, number of banquet tickets etc. in order to expedite registration. For more information visit

China’s Trade Rumors Confirmed
Confirming trade rumors, China has eliminated the 11 percent value added tax (VAT) on U.S. dried distillers grains (DDG). The move comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s trip to China and is seen as positive for ethanol profitability because it will help increase demand for DDG in the country. It is important to note while this does lower the price of U.S. DDG for Chinese feed buyers, anti-dumping measures are still in place, and these remain significant barriers for U.S. DDG in China.

Crop Update
Nationwide, sorghum producers had harvested 72 percent of the crop by November 5, eleven percentage points behind last year and 6 points behind the 5-year average.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
Cover crops, Double crop? Start planning for 2018 – High Plains Journal
Kansas Crop Progress and Condition – McPherson Sentinel
How to Make Sorghum-Cider Punch – Southern Living
Sorghum 3 Ways – Statistical Analysis System
Meet a Farmer | Dale Artho – Texas Farm Bureau

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Nov. 14-17     NSP Board of Directors Meeting, Lubbock, TX
Nov. 23-24     NSP & USCP Offices closed for Thanksgiving
Nov. 28-30     Amarillo Farm Show, Amarillo, TX
Nov. 29          West Texas PAC Event, Amarillo, TX
Nov. 30          NEGSPA Annual Membership Meeting, York, 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
“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale