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The Ideal Crop to Be Part of the Climate Solution

Sorghum Sustains

Sorghum has many sustainable attributes, and our farmers are on the front lines mitigating and responding to the impacts of climate change while adapting and innovating to keep the lands they steward productive now and for future generations.

Sorghum is the resource conserving crop that is both water smart and climate resilient. With the necessary resources to innovate and the incentives to bring those innovations to the market, we can accomplish far more.

View our Sorghum Sustains one-pager, an read NSP’s Comments on the “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”

View the latest sorghum input survey and calculator for analyzing it.

From the Field to the Halls of Congress

Sustainability Wins

CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY IN SORGHUM PRODUCTION
KansCAT
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KansCAT

Kansas farmers have limited technical capacity to quantify the effectiveness of farm practices in improving soil health and water quality. This project, conducted in partnership with NRCS and titled “Community and market partnerships to leverage the creation and application of a technology platform, KansCAT, for conservation of soil and water systems in Kansas,” consists of three objectives aimed at addressing this problem. We propose to I) deploy a database for storing and assessing practice information, II) increase literacy of farmers and conservation partners using this information and III) leverage conservation practices for value in carbon-focused ethanol markets.

Read more about KansCAT here.

Sorghum Breaks Through
Resource-Conserving Crop Rotation
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Resource-Conserving Crop Rotation

In April 2021, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced additional language concerning the definition of a “resource-conserving crop” (RCC) under the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) “to be more inclusive of all crops that could be resource conserving and fit within the purpose for which the definition was crafted.” The new definition also fully redefines “resource-conserving crop rotation” RCCR for the same purposes. Prior to this a RCC was defined as: (1 A perennial grass; (2 A legume grown for use as a cover crop, forage, seed for planting, or green manure; 3) A legume-grass or diverse grass-forb mixture comprised of species selected for climate, rainfall, soil, and other region-specific conditions; or 4) A small grain or other resource-demanding crop grown in combination with a grass, legume, other forbs, or grass-forb mixture, whether interseeded, relay-planted into the resource-demanding crop, or planted in rotation. The new definition replaces the fourth component with 4) A non-fragile residue or high residue crop or a crop that efficiently uses soil moisture, reduces irrigation water needs, or is considered drought tolerant.

The language defining a resource-conserving crop was also updated to mean a crop rotation that: 1) Includes at least one resource-conserving crop as determined by NRCS; 2) Reduces erosion; 3) Improves soil fertility and tilth; 4) Interrupts pest cycles; 5) Builds soil organic matter; and 6) In applicable areas, reduces depletion of soil moisture or otherwise reduces the need for irrigation.

Read the notice of the updated rule here.

Sorghum Sustainability In the News

A Deep Connection: Upland Habitat And Grain Production Fit Hand-In-Hand
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A Deep Connection: Upland Habitat And Grain Production Fit Hand-In-Hand

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever recently partnered with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program to offer conservation cost-share opportunities for sorghum producers in western Kansas. Read the full Sorghum Grower magazine article here.

NSP Encourages Sorghum Farmers To Capitalize On CSP Provisions At Sign-Up
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NSP Encourages Sorghum Farmers To Capitalize On CSP Provisions At Sign-Up

Certain provisions in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) can provide environmental and economic advantages to sorghum farmers. Read more here.

KansCAT Research Fellow Contributes To Sorghum Sustainability Efforts
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KansCAT Research Fellow Contributes To Sorghum Sustainability Efforts

Sanders Barbee shares her experiences collecting data and promoting sorghum’s sustainable attributes. Read more here.

Sorghum Industry Focusing on Sustainability
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Sorghum Industry Focusing on Sustainability

Last spring, I wrote about the sorghum industry’s plans on sustainability. Specifically, representatives from the Sorghum Checkoff and National Sorghum Producers sat down in Dallas to discuss building a sustainability roadmap for the sorghum industry. Read the full article by NSP Executive Vice President John Duff here.

Reed Middleton Named Sustainability Fellow at Kansas Grain Sorghum
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Reed Middleton Named Sustainability Fellow at Kansas Grain Sorghum

The Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association recently named Reed Middleton as the organization’s first Kansas Grain Sorghum Fellow. Read the full article here.

National Sorghum Producers Partners With USDA To Quantify Sorghum Sustainability In Key Ethanol Production Region
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National Sorghum Producers Partners With USDA To Quantify Sorghum Sustainability In Key Ethanol Production Region

National Sorghum Producers announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kansas. The partnership will be executed through a conservation collaboration grant that will document sorghum farmer practices to promote positive conservation outcomes and quantify the environmental footprint of the crop. Read the full press release here

Partnering For Soil Health : Sorghum Farmers Are Collaborating With NRCS To Improve Soil Health
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Partnering For Soil Health : Sorghum Farmers Are Collaborating With NRCS To Improve Soil Health

The correlation between conservation and low-carbon fuels has led to a partnership between National Sorghum Producers and the NRCS to develop a software platform which will be used to track the type of conservation and sustainability information farmers and NRCS staff need for conservation planning and California Low Carbon Fuel Standard administrators need for verifying carbon footprints. Read the full Sorghum Grower magazine article here.

Carbon Reduction Starts With The Soil
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Carbon Reduction Starts With The Soil

As global interest increases in the relationship between soil health and carbon footprints, carbon-reducing practices in farming stand to be beneficial for the land and the farmer’s pocketbook. Read the full Sorghum Grower magazine article here.

 

Farmers Poised to Benefit From Carbon Trade
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Farmers Poised to Benefit From Carbon Trade

The first quarter is always busy here at National Sorghum Producers, and this year is no exception. The chaos caused by the Coronavirus is threatening to reduce the impact of the Phase 1 deal with China. The farm economy continues to deteriorate. We’ve had wins on the small refinery waiver front but ethanol demand growth is still slow. And if all that wasn’t enough, we’re in caucus and primary season, and that means the presidential election will be here before we know it. Read the full article by NSP Executive Vice President John Duff here.

Threat of Drought Puts Spotlight on Conservation
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Threat of Drought Puts Spotlight on Conservation

I don’t have to remind anyone that this year has gotten off to a rough start. With COVID-19 lockdowns, racial unrest and market uncertainty, 2020 has been a year to remember. Now, persistent drought conditions are threatening to throw an additional wrench into the works across the Sorghum Belt, and many farmers are facing more production uncertainty than in any year since 2013. Read the full article by NSP Executive Vice President John Duff here.

Sorghum’s Role in Conservation with Chris McLeland and Ryan Heiniger
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Sorghum’s Role in Conservation with Chris McLeland and Ryan Heiniger

There are very few combinations that make as much sense as quail, pheasants and sorghum. On this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk, we visit with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Ryan Heiniger and Chris McLeland to discuss what role sorghum plays in wildlife conservation. To learn more about this collaboration, tune in to this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk here.

Meet the New Team Members with Kira Everhart-Valentin & Clint White
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Meet the New Team Members with Kira Everhart-Valentin & Clint White

In this episode of Sorghum Smart Talk we welcome two new staff members to Team Sorghum, Kira Everhart-Valentine and Clint White. The Sorghum Checkoff recently launched an initiative to increase market value for growers by positioning sorghum as a sustainable solution for food, feed and energy sectors that serves the global community and its needs for nutrition and environmental health. The board also named Kira Everhart-Valentin as the organization’s first sustainability director.

Additionally, the Sorghum Checkoff recently hired Clint White as Director of Communications. White will be responsible for the planning, development and implementation of all Sorghum Checkoff communications, both externally and internally.

Learn more about the new team members here and here or listen to the full podcast episode here.

 

Farm Conservation with Dan Atkisson & Sharonte Williams
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Farm Conservation with Dan Atkisson & Sharonte Williams

Over the last couple of years, the sorghum industry overall has renewed a focus on conservation and sustainability. The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) plays a critical role in that, and this podcast is the first in a series to discuss this effort and farming practices that promote conservation and sustainable practices. Tune in here.

KansCAT with John Duff and Reed Middleton
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KansCAT with John Duff and Reed Middleton

Listen to this episode of the Sorghum State Podcast where NSP Executive Director John Duff discuss a sustainability initiative in Kansas, KansCAT, with Reed Middleton. Tune in here.

Sustainability & Conservation with Kira Everhart-Valentin
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Sustainability & Conservation with Kira Everhart-Valentin

Sorghum Checkoff Sustainability Director Kira Everhart-Valentin joins us on Sorghum Smart Talk to chat about sustainability, conservation and potential industry partnerships. Everhart-Valentin explains that sorghum is well positioned to take advantage of both current and future initiatives, what the sustainability space may look like in a few years and what the Sorghum Checkoff is doing across the industry to promote sorghum’s sustainable properties. Tune in here.

Add Sorghum to Secure Farm Sustainability
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Add Sorghum to Secure Farm Sustainability

My longtime readers know I love writing about sustainability. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the political spectrum or how you feel about climate science. If you farm or support U.S. farmers, you benefit from sustainability. In fact, your very livelihood depends upon it, given productive crops require a clean environment year after year — and always will. The subject creates opportunities for U.S. agriculture to build bridges and cultivate relationships with consumers and folks in the environmental community alike. That’s why I get so excited when sustainability comes up. Read the full article from NSP Executive Vice President John Duff here.

Kansas Grain Sorghum Welcomes New Conservation & Sustainability Fellow, Sanders Barbee
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Kansas Grain Sorghum Welcomes New Conservation & Sustainability Fellow, Sanders Barbee

The Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association (KGSPA) recently named Sanders Barbee as the organization’s Conservation & Sustainability Fellow for 2021. Read the dull press release from the Kansas Grain Sorghum Association here.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Welcome United Sorghum Checkoff Program as National Sponsor and Strategic Conservation Partner in the Great Plains
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Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Welcome United Sorghum Checkoff Program as National Sponsor and Strategic Conservation Partner in the Great Plains

Building upon an existing conservation and working lands partnership, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever is pleased to announce the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) as the organization’s newest national sponsor. Promoting farm-level sustainability and profitability for sorghum growers in the Great Plains, the organizations are committed to showcasing the nexus between upland bird habitats and sorghum production. Read the full press release here.