Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Sorghum Notes | September 7, 2017

Sorghum Notes | September 7, 2017

September 7, 2017

the voice of the sorghum industry

NSP Chairman Testifies at Nebraska Farm Bill Listening Session
Trade and crop insurance improvements were among the many issues discussed at a farm bill listening session held at the Nebraska State Fair September 1. Nebraska’s Congressional delegation gathered to hear input on the 2018 Farm Bill from representatives from 10 farm organizations followed by a brief question-and-answer session. National Sorghum Producers Chairman Don Bloss represented the sorghum industry during the session speaking on the need for a stronger Title 1 program for sorghum as well as a conservation title that encourages rotation and water conservation.

Congress Reconvenes After August Recess
Congress reconvened after a month-long recess to consider a fiscal measure to fund the federal government and provide resources for Hurricane Harvey relief and Hurricane Irma preparedness. The bill continues current federal government spending levels through December 8, extends the debt ceiling and provides aid for disaster relief. The Senate passed the bill 80-17 Thursday before sending it to the House of Representatives, where a vote is expected on Friday.

Administration Plows Ahead on NAFTA
U.S. trade negotiators along with their Mexican and Canadian counterparts concluded the second round of the renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Mexico City, Mexico, earlier this week. During five days of meetings, more than two dozen working groups covered various negotiating topics, exchanged information and presented proposals for the trade accord. The three countries will continue trade discussions in the third round scheduled to take place in Ottawa, Canada, September 23-27. All countries expressed a shared goal to conclude negotiations by the end of 2017.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte Planning to Introduce Agricultural Guestworker Act
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) will be soon unveiling his Agricultural Guestworker Act, the AG Act. This act will will replace the H-2A program with a more efficient and effective agricultural guestworker program that America’s farmers and ranchers have needed for a number of years. First and foremost, the AG Act will allow year-round agricultural employers to hire year-round workers versus just seasonal workers. It will allow employers to invest time in training employees who will be able to stay for longer periods of time and will offer more options.

John Deere Acquires Blue River Technology
John Deere announced Wednesday the acquisition of Blue River Technology. Based in Sunnyvale, California, Blue River Technology, has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology that will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present. Additionally, Blue River has been instrumental in the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy sorghum research by doing the drone work to evaluate crop stress. Already in 2017, Blue River Technology has been listed among Inc. Magazine’s 25 Most Disruptive Companies, Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, CB Insights 100 Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies in the World and the Top 50 Agricultural Innovations by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Enter the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest
The National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest provides sorghum farmers with the opportunity to showcase their sorghum crop, competing with farmers across the Sorghum Belt. This contest allows our industry to recognize some of the best growers in the U.S. and helps farmers to grow and learn from one another.

NSP has set a yield goal of 250 bushels per acre or more to illustrate sorghum’s yield potential. All division placings will be determined by yield only. NSP is offering incentives with support from the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to award growers who reach this new benchmark. Contestants successfully participating in this category will receive:

  • 1st Place – Three-year truck lease (Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge or Toyota)
  • 2nd Place – All-terrain vehicle
  • 3rd Place – Riding lawn mower

Entry forms must be postmarked at least ten days prior to harvest. Harvest Report forms and Management Information forms must be completed and returned to the NSP office no later than Dec. 1, 2017. Click here for more information.

Whole Grains Month 
September is Whole Grains Month, so we challenge you integrate whole grains into some of your favorite dishes. Whole grains, which include sorghum, are an essential part of a balanced diet. Not only do they provide valuable nutrients, they may also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Visit to discover new and exciting ways for integrating sorghum into your favorite dishes.

More USDA Nominations Made
President Donald Trump has announced more nominations for key positions at the United States Department of Agriculture. These nominations include Greg Ibach as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Bill Northey as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation and Stephen Vaden as USDA’s Chief Counsel. This announcement follows the announcement of Steve Censky as the nominee for USDA Deputy Secretary, Ted McKinney as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs and Sam Clovis as Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. The Senate is expected to hold a hearing for these nominations sometime in mid-September.

Call for Abstracts at Sorghum in the 21st Century Conference
The Sorghum in the 21st Century conference is now accepting abstracts of original research and topics of commercial appeal to be presented April 9-12 in Cape Town, South Africa. The five main sub-themes that will drive the conference content and conversation are as follows:

  • Accelerating progress in advanced breeding for improved crop adaptation to climate risks
  • Improving productivity and increasing profitability to expand opportunities across global markets
  • Enhancing resilience in the face of biotic and abiotic challenges
  • Tackling key issues in food security and farming systems for improved livelihoods for the smallholder farmers
  • Exploring the future of the value-added: Nutrition, biofuels and feedstuffs for evolving consumer demands

It is a rare and fantastic opportunity to showcase research to the world sorghum community. Abstract submissions must be done online at or contact Lethisha Narayan.

The deadline for abstract submissions is October 31, 2017.

WOTUS Comment Period Extended
The public comment period deadline on the Waters of the United States rule has been extended to September 27. Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposal that would eliminate the 2015 WOTUS rule and allow the agency to develop a rule that does not create a huge regulatory burden for agriculture. We encourage you to submit comments to the EPA in support of this repeal. You may submit your comments here:

Crop Update
Nationally, 96 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the heading stage by week’s end, two percentage points behind last year but two points ahead of the five-year average. By week’s end, 62 percent of the sorghum was at or beyond the coloring stage, 10 percentage points behind last year and two points behind the five-year average. Thirty-one percent of the sorghum crop was mature by week’s end, six percentage points behind last year and three points behind the five-year average. Nationwide, producers had harvested 23 percent of the sorghum crop, three percentage points ahead of last year but slightly behind the five-year average. Overall, 63 percent of the sorghum crop was reported in good to excellent condition, down two percentage points from last week and three points below the same time last year.

NSP-BASF Joint Scholarship Application Now Open
Applications for the National Sorghum Foundation-BASF Joint Scholarship are now open. The scholarship will include a tuition award for the 2018-2019 school year as well as cover recipients’ cost to attend the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculturally related curriculum. Students must be a child or grandchild of an NSP member, and undergraduates must be entering at least their second year of study by the 2018-2019 academic year.

Click here to download the application. For questions or to submit application materials, please contact Debra Lloyd at or 806-749-3478.

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:
USCG Promotes Sorghum as Fish Feed in Southeast Asia – World-Grain
Lots to Do and See at Sorghum Fest in Fall River – Columbus Journal
Keeping Sorghum Alive, One Demonstration at a Time – The Daily Times
Young Aussie Farmers Gain Insight Into Challenges Facing US Farmers – Grain Central
Effects of Hurricane Harvey Lingering – High Plains Journal
Raising the Bar for Sorghum – KGNC

Upcoming Sorghum Events
Sept. 8             Sorghum Field Day – John Dvoracek Farm, Farwell, NE
Sept. 12-14     Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island, NE
Sept. 13           Bushland Forage Sorghum Silage Tour, Bushland, TX
Sept. 18-22     JCI – China Feed Raw Materials Market, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
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
“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” – Booker T. Washington