Texas Sorghum Insider

December 4, 2012

EPA Approves Grain Sorghum Pathway – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday it has approved grain sorghum as an eligible feedstock under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). National Sorghum Producers (NSP) has worked closely with EPA for about three years in getting grain sorghum listed as an advanced biofuel feedstock, and the feat has finally been won. The RFS requires a certain amount of feedstocks to be used to produced advanced biofuels. With sorghum’s listing, it will now create a significant amount of domestically-grown sorghum that needs to be used to produce ethanol. This use, in turn, will add value and profitability to the producers crop. This gives an incentive to the ethanol plants to use sorghum when producing their biofuels. EPA found that, when plants use sorghum to create ethanol at facilities that use natural gas, they have a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 32 percent, qualifying it as a conventional ethanol. NSP expects at least one existing ethanol plant to quality very soon. Finally, according to EPA, when grain sorghum is used to make ethanol at facilities that use biogas digesters in combination with combined heat and power technology, it achieves a lifecycle GHG emissions reduction of 53 percent, qualifying it as an advanced biofuel feedstock under the RFS. TGSA applauds NSP on their diligent attention to achieve this goal that will tremendously help sorghum producers crop value.

Sorghum U – The United Sorghum Checkoff Program, Chromatin Inc. and the High Plains Journal are teaming up to provide producers an opportunity to explore the profitability and water management qualities of grain sorghum at their new program – Sorghum U. The program in Texas will be held at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. The event will provide breakout sessions on water management, sorghum economics, sorghum agronomics and sorghum marketing opportunities. The program will encourage informational discussions between industry insiders and experienced and new growers. There is no charge to attend the event and lunch is included. The event will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and conclude around 2:00 p.m. If you would like to register early, please visit www.hpj.com/sorghumu or call 1-855-422-6652.

Texas A&M AgriLife High Plains Variety Test Results – The variety plot test results from three locations in the High Plains were recently released by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. At the Lubbock limited irrigation test plot, the top two producing varieties were DeKalb DKS49-45 yielding 5,765 lbs/acre and REV RV9978 at 5,450 lbs/acre. The 20 trials at the Lubbock plot averaged 4,659 lbs/acre. The Hereford irrigated test plot’s top two producing varieties were DeKalb DKS49-45 yielding 9,263 lbs/acre and DeKalb DKS53-67 yielding 8,482 lbs/acre. The 20 trials at the Hereford plot averaged 7,374 lbs/acre. Finally at the Perryton limited irrigation test plot, the two top producing varieties were REV RV9782 yielding 6,642 lbs/acre and Pioneer 85Y40 yielding 6,215 lbs/acre. The 22 trials at the Perryton Plot averaged 5,133 lbs/acre. All of the results from these tests and the other six done around the state will be included in NSP’s Sorghum Grower winter edition magazine, in the High Plains Journal Sorghum Seed inserts, or can be found online at www.varietytesting.tamu.edu.

Farm Bill News at a Glance – The House Republican Conference re-elected Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma to serve a second term as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee for the 113th Congress. Lucas is still committed to do a full, five-year farm bill. On the Senate side, Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said he is now prepared to comprise on the commodity title and accept target price supports important to Southern producers and their allies in Congress, because he said “I have to have the crop insurance or my guys are really going to suffer.”

U.S. Sorghum in Japan – Thanks to the U.S. Grains Council and their attendance at the Japan Health Ingredients Show last month, there is now a new series of white sorghum food products available in the Japanese market. The use of sorghum in food in Japan has not been widely known, and the Council has been stepping in to educate the marketplace. Organic Foods Life Co., Ltd., has developed and started sales of serval non-allergy products using U.S. white sorghum. They sell pre-mix flour and ready-made sorghum pancakes, hotcakes and waffles online and in specialty stores around Tokyo. They also created a creamy salad dressing and frozen sorghum risotto.

Sorghum Meeting in Garden City – TGSP and USCP will hold a sorghum specific meeting at the Glasscock County Coop on Monday, Dec., 17 from noon to 2:00 p.m. The meeting will concentrate on sorghum’s economic and water challenges, and Dr. Trostle of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will provide sorghum agronomic information. The meeting is free and all growers are welcome. The event will include a free lunch, will provide one CEU and all attendees will be entered in a chance to win a Yeti cooler.

Final Reminder of TGPIB Referendum – The Texas Grain Producer Indemnity Board’s (TGPIB) referendum is in the final days and will end on Dec. 7, 2012. To obtain a ballot, visit your Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county office. There will be directions on the ballot of how to mail your completed ballot to TDA. A producer is eligible to vote once if he/she sold grain in the 36 months prior to Dec. 7, 2012. To learn more about the potential fund, visit www.TexasGrainIndemnity.org.