Texas Sorghum Insider

July 10, 2012

Sorghum Checkoff Looking for Leadership – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) is launching a new program to look for the next generation of leaders in the sorghum industry. The program is looking for interested applicants who are actively engaged in growing sorghum. Those who get accepted into the program will have both hands-on and a classroom style education. The class will be exposed to various aspects of the sorghum industry from basic research to international marketing, and participants will gain an understanding of how sorghum moves through the value chain, how checkoffs and interest organizations interact on behalf of the industry and what the future holds for the crop. The program will also provide professional development training and networking opportunities. Applications for the Class I of Leadership Sorghum are due by July 20, 2012. For electronic forms and class schedules, please visit www.SorghumCheckoff.com/leadership or email leadership@sorghumcheckoff.com. We hope that you will get involved!

West Texas Ethanol Plant – Earlier this year the former Levelland/Hockley County Ethanol Plant went bankrupt and a local market for sorghum left with it, but Conestoga Energy has recently bought the plant and this is good news for area farmers. The new plant is called Diamond Ethanol, LLC and they plan to be up and running in time for sorghum harvest in west Texas this fall. The company hopes to be doing some testing of the plant by mid-September and plans to be taking sorghum by October 1, 2012. The ethanol plant plays a large role in boosting the local economy and gives area growers a local market for their sorghum crop. The plant will be working very closely with the local cooperatives to purchase the sorghum for their operation.

Crop Report – Texas AgriLife recently reported on crops across the state. The Southern High Plains has seen more sorghum go in the ground as the heat index soared and some cotton got hailed out. Many cotton fields that got hailed out were replanted with sorghum. The irrigated fields look fair but need rainfall to supplement the irrigation. Sorghum in the Panhandle is fair to good. Rains have began to flicker around both regions but is always needed as irrigation is still in full swing and the dry land crops are aching for it. Sorghum in Central Texas is still holding on and looking good. Temperatures have been high and rain has recently been limited. The Coastal Bend ranged from three inches of rain to a trace last week. Sorghum is being harvested in most of the CB, but some areas of sorghum are still getting zeroed out due to the lack of soil moisture. Some of the failed sorghum crops are being harvested for hay while other parts of the region are showing descent yields. The Northern region of Texas showed that grain sorghum yields are expected to be excellent. The Valley is nearing the end of sorghum harvest as rains from last week slowed progress just a bit.