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Sorghum Notes | September 14, 2017

Sorghum Notes | September 14, 2017

September 14, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

NSP Hires New Relationship Manager
Christi Stulp has joined the National Sorghum Producers staff as relationship manager. Stulp will lead the efforts of the Industry Partner and Elevator-Member programs. Stulp joins NSP after having spent the last nine years farming with her husband Jeremy in southeast Colorado, and also leading a consumer-based direct sales team. Prior to returning home to work on the farm, she worked for NSP from 2004 to 2008 where she had a number of duties, including launching the magazine Sorghum Grower and expanding the E-Member program to other states from Texas. She has also worked for Producers Cooperative in Bryan, Texas, and Dow AgroSciences. Christi has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University and University of Florida, respectively.

USDA Extends Time to File Disaster Loss Claims
Farmers and ranchers affected by Harvey and Irma should keep thorough records of all losses and expenses for extraordinary supplies or increased transportation costs due to storm damage and work with the local FSA office to report damages as soon as possible. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced this week that the agency will provide additional flexibility to assist producers who lost crops, livestock or suffered other farm and ranch damage as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In an effort to help people first and deal with paperwork second, USDA is assisting producers with the most pressing needs. Several deadlines were extended for USDA programs, including:

  • Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) program
  • Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL)
  • Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
  • Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)
  • Tree Assistance Program (TAP)

In addition, emergency grazing is allowed under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for up to 60 days and special provisions are available for acceptable proof of livestock death and inventory for livestock losses.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) also encourages producers to report crop damage to crop insurance agents for assistance in filing claims. Emergency procedures are in place to streamline crop loss determinations and accelerate loss adjustments and indemnity payments. The paperwork extension applies only to those producers who are located in counties impacted by the storms that received a primary Presidential Disaster Declaration and contiguous counties. To read the full USDA announcement, click here.

President Signs Disaster Aid, Continuing Resolution, Debt Ceiling Bill
President Trump signed on Friday the hurricane emergency aid package that also addresses the debt ceiling and government funding through December 8, 2017. The package provides $15.25 billion in emergency funding for both hurricane and wildfire victims. The continuing resolution (CR) funds the government through December 8, 2017, and will prevent a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins October 1.

The House plans to finish work on an eight-bill appropriations measure this week as lawmakers look to set up negotiations with the Senate on a FY18 budget agreement. The measure, which they are referring to as an octibus bill, combines bills that fund nearly all the departments and agencies important to agriculture, including the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Interior and Labor Departments, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

NSP CEO Speaks on BIFAD Panel in D.C.
Tim Lust, National Sorghum Producers CEO, served on a panel titled ‘Leveraging Private Sector’ at this week’s Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD) meeting in Washington, D.C. During the panel, Lust was able to discuss how upcoming doubled haploid technology will positively impact international breeding programs and how the U.S. private agricultural sector can assist the United States Agency for International Development’s development efforts, specifically through economies of scale, capacity building and sharing of best management practices. Lust also shared the benefits of USAID research back to U.S. producers on areas such as the sugarcane aphid. Mark Edge, Monsanto; Geoff Graham, DuPont Pioneer; and Doug Cole, Simplot, also served on the panel.

Confirmation Hearing for USDA Nominees Set
The Senate Agriculture Committee has announced they will have confirmation hearings for both Steve Censky and Ted McKinney September 19. Steve Censky, head of the American Soybean Association, is the nominee for deputy secretary, and Ted McKinney, Indiana Director of Agriculture, is the nominee for undersecretary for trade.

McCuistion Joins Sorghum Checkoff as Animal Nutrition Director
The Sorghum Checkoff recently named Kim McCuistion, Ph.D., as the organization’s animal nutrition director. In this role, McCuistion will assist with efforts relating to animal nutrition, market development and end-user relations. Over the years, Dr. McCuistion has worked closely with the sorghum industry, utilizing sorghum products in grazing, feedlot and dairy cattle diets. Her dissertation work focused on forage sorghum in cattle diets, which was incorporated into decision support tools for beef and forage producers in the Texas Panhandle. Dr. McCuistion began her relationship with the Sorghum Checkoff as a member of the High Value Markets Committee in 2011 and has traveled to several international meetings on behalf of the U.S. Grains Council and Texas Grain Sorghum Producers.

K-State & PepsiCo Team Up on Affordable Nutrition, Will Include Sorghum
Kansas State University has entered into an agreement with PepsiCo, Inc. to focus on making nutritious food and beverage products more affordable and accessible. University faculty and students will work with the company in the development of these products. PepsiCo will provide funding for up to five years that will be used to hire graduate students, develop a course that integrates professional and product development skills, conduct independent research and provide edible prototypes to PepsiCo. Of special note, some of these prototypes are expected to be sorghum-based products. K-State is home to the Center for Sorghum Improvement and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet making the university a perfect place for sorghum product development. Read more here.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest

Crop Update
By week’s end, 74 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the coloring stage, eight percentage points behind last year but equal to the five-year average. By September 10, 35 percent of this year’s crop was mature, eight percentage points behind last year and four points behind the five-year average. The sorghum crop was nine percent mature by week’s end in Kansas, four percentage points behind the five-year average. Producers had harvested 24 percent of the nation’s sorghum by week’s end, slightly behind last year and three percentage points behind the five-year average. Overall, 66 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, up three percentage points from last week and slightly better than at the same time last year.

Export Report
Export commitments were historically strong this week with China and Korea committing to purchase 8.8 million bushels. This brings total commitments to 43 million bushels, more than 20 percent of the USDA export target of 210 million bushels just one week into the 2017/18 marketing year. This week’s WASDE report unsurprisingly reflected balance sheet tightness as USDA cut beginning sorghum stocks from 53 million bushels to 29 million bushels. Cash and new crop basis in central terminal markets increased significantly as a result with bids in both central Kansas and central South Dakota near $3.00 per bushel (approximately even with corn).

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:
Kansas State University and PepsiCo Team Up on Affordable Nutrition – KTIC
ARRO Expands Product Line – High Plains Journal
Promoting Sorghum – KGNC
South Point Site of Annual Sorghum Festival – The Herald Dispatch

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Sept. 18-22     JCI – China Feed Raw Materials Market, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Oct. 1-2          Texas Grain Sorghum Board Meeting, Austin, TX
Oct. 17-19      Sunbelt Ag Expo, Moultrie, GA
Oct. 21-24      Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Chicago, IL

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 mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” -Plutarch