Texas Sorghum Insider

June 12, 2012

Crop Insurance Debate Still Making Ripples – As Farm Bill discussions continue, crop insurance still remains a hot topic. Producer groups urge congress to leave the crop insurance section of the Farm Bill the same as the one in 2008, as it is a safety net and a leverage to be able to continue to produce the safest and most abundant food and fiber supply in the world, but other groups are seeking amendments that would limit and drastically reduce the chance for crop insurance to do what it was meant to do.  AgWeek reported that The American Association of Crop Insurers and the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau are urging the Senate to reject all the amendments that would change the crop insurance section of the Farm Bill, but reform coalitions are urging the senators to consider passing them. The four amendments are trying to limit crop insurance to “wealthier” farmers, limit crop insurance premium subsidies, and amendments that would mandate conservation requirements in order to get crop insurance.

Texas Sorghum Growers Still Needed for Study! – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) is funding an in-depth study that involves tracking all data used by sorghum growers to raise, harvest and market their sorghum crop. The study will begin in June 2012 and participating growers will be asked to provide information relating to all inputs and outputs relating to their crop. The data will be used to assess the carbon footprint of growing sorghum versus other crops, and a model will be developed to demonstrate those interactions. The study still needs several Texas sorghum growers so if you are interested in participating or know someone who is, please contact Dusti Fritz of USCP at dusti@sorghumcheckoff.com. The series will include four 5-to-10 minute surveys online and will be conducted by SGS and Strategic Marketing Research and is strictly a scientific resesach project that does not include sales of any kind.

Grain Basis Trading Online Course Available – Students and professionals can embark on a 14-week online course to gain a detailed working knowledge of how basis trading concepts and practices are applied to agricultural markets and to help develop a skill set that can be put immediately into practice in any basis trading operation. Grain basis trading is the process by which grain firms use the futures market to offset price risk and to profit from merchandising grain. The course is put on by a collaboration of White Commercial Corporation and the University of Arkansas. The course is designed for people who have background knowledge of futures markets and basic risk management strategies. Learning times are flexible but guided by a specific schedule. Once the course is satisfactorally complete, a achievement certificate of Basis Trading Administration-Level 1 will be provided. To gain more information and register visit the Grain Basis Trading Website at http://globalcampus.uark.edu/gbt.

Jim Massey IV discusses sorghum with the buyers from Mexico.

Potential Sorghum Buyers from Mexico Visit Texas– Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board (TGSB), the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted and sponsored a group of potential sorghum buyers from Mexico into Texas last week. The group toured around the Coastal Bend to learn about the Texas sorghum crop. Jim Massey IV, TGSB board member, showed the group sorghum crops in the area, explained the process of growing and harvesting sorghum, and showed the group farm equipment. The groups also toured Gulf Coast Coop and Woodsboro Coop while in the area. Finally, the group finished off with a barn dinner at Bobby Reider’s near Sinton, Tex., where the group visited with more than 40 attendees including area producers, elevator managers and industry leaders. The buyers from Mexico included a dairy operator, a feed mill operator, a Tyson representative, a buyer consultant and a grain merchandiser. TGSB, USCP and USGC will host of potential Japanese sorghum buyers into Texas June 17-19.

The group visits with local producers and sellers at the dinner hosted by Bobby Reider.

Mexico Group Tours Gulf Coast Coop