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Sorghum Notes | September 28, 2017

Sorghum Notes | September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

Tax Reform Plan Unveiled
President Donald Trump unveiled a tax reform plan Wednesday that could provide tax relief for corporations and small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, and eliminate the estate tax. The specific impacts on agriculture are still unknown. One major question is whether restrictions will be placed on small businesses and farms writing off interest expenses. The plans calls for limiting the write off of interest expenses for corporations, but leaves the door open for allowing small businesses to continue doing so. Several lawmakers have said they would seek an exemption that allowed farms and ranchers to continue writing off interest. The House plans to pave the way for a tax reform bill by moving a FY18 budget resolution starting next week.

NSP Submits Comments on WOTUS
National Sorghum Producers submitted comments this week to the Federal Register on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to rescind the 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule and revert back to the previous guidance documents. NSP expressed their intent to continue engaging with the agency as work is done to develop a new rule that will both protect the environment and protect farmers’ ability to operate. Read the letter here.

Round Three of NAFTA Renegotiations
The third round of the renegotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) wrapped up Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada. Countries have jointly claimed significant progress has been made and remain committed to an accelerated timeline for the talks. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for October 11-15 in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. is expected to soon put proposals on the table on several hot topics, including raising Mexican labor standards and ending the Canadian dairy pricing policy that curbs U.S. milk exports. Additionally, the U.S. is reportedly planning to propose the establishment of seasonal windows in exchange for agricultural goods from Mexico and Canada. The proposed deal would establish seasonal restrictions on imports in North America.

EPA Seeking Input on Potential Reduction in RFS Volumes
In July, the Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed volumes for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018. The proposal would reduce its volume mandate for use of advanced biofuels but would keep the requirements for ethanol at the maximum level set under the law. The 2018 biofuel volume mandate would be 19.24 billion gallons, which is a reduction of 40 million gallons from the level set for 2017. Conventional ethanol, which includes sorghum, will not be affected as the EPA maintained the conventional blending requirement at the statutory level of 15 billion gallons. However, there is some opposition to the conventional requirement, so voicing support of this component of the proposal will be important. The EPA has released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) giving public notice and inviting comment on this. A 15-day comment period will be triggered when the NODA is published in the Federal Register. Look for a link in an upcoming issue of Sorghum Notes to comment.

Conaway Committed to Farm Bill Timeline
Although tax reform seems to be taking center stage at the moment, many are still focused on the 2018 Farm Bill, including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX). Conaway says this does not change his timeline for moving a new farm bill along in late 2017 or early 2018. Stay tuned to Sorghum Notes and National Sorghum Producer’s Facebook and Twitter as the 2018 Farm Bill process continues to unfold.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest

Crop Update
By week’s end, 90 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the coloring stage, three percentage points behind last year but equal to the five-year average. Crop maturity advanced to 52 percent complete by September 24, eight percentage points behind last year and two points behind the five-year average. Nationwide, 32 percent of the crop was harvested by week’s end, slightly behind both last year and the five-year average. Overall, 64 percent of the sorghum was reported in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week and two percentage points lower than at the same time last year.

Export Report
Export commitments were strong this week with China and Japan committing to purchase 2.4 million bushels. This brings total commitments to 47 million, 22 percent of the USDA export target just three weeks into the marketing year. Price has begun to respond to this demand with interior terminal bids from central Kansas to central south Dakota nearing or equaling corn. Western plains basis has seen strengthening, as well. Gulf basis remains firm with sorghum bids for November delivery at 117 percent of corn or $4.75 per bushel.

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:
Sorghum: Catfish Feeding Trial in Vietnam Offers New Opportunity for U.S. Farmers – AGFAX
Sorghum Farming Became Source of Wellness, Link to Being Growers for Kansas Company for Alma Couple – Kearney Hub

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Oct. 1-2         Texas Grain Sorghum Board Meeting, Austin, TX
Oct. 9-10       State Executive & Leadership Roundtable, Dallas, TX
Oct. 17-19      Sunbelt Ag Expo, Moultrie, GA
Oct. 17           San Patricio County PAC Lunch, Sinton, TX
Oct. 17           Rio Grande Valley PAC Dinner, Monte Alto, TX
Oct. 18           Nueces County PAC Dinner, Robstown, TX
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
“Experience is the teacher of all things.” -Julius Caesar