Texas Sorghum Insider

February 6, 2013

TEXAS GROUP MEETS WITH SAN FERNANDO – LEADING ANIMAL PRODUCTION COMPANY IN PERU (L-R): Benjamin Smith – Attebury Grain; Brian McCuistion – Planters Coop; Carlos Guerrero – TDA; James Born – TGSP; Joe Kelley – United Ag; San Fernando buyer; TJ Verver – TDA; Jaime Cuellar – USGC; San Fernando buyer; Wayne Cleveland – TGSP

Texas Group Promotes Sorghum in Latin America – Recently the Texas Grain Sorghum Producer Board (TGSB), in conjunction with Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) conducted a trade mission to Colombia and Peru utilizing the STEP Grant program through TDA. “This trip was very important as it educated potential buyers of grain sorghum about the quality, value and freight advantage of our product,” said James Born, a producer and board member of TGSB. While on the mission the team (pictured above) met with 14 companies that were vetted as the most likely to buy U.S. feed grains in the near future. With the 2013 passage of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, it is now attractive for Colombia to purchase U.S grain sorghum. Texas has a distinct 10 day freight advantage over Argentine sorghum and contains no tannins as opposed to the Argentinean sorghum. “Some of the buyers were surprised to find that you could actually use sorghum in rations and requested more feeding information, wile others were interested in purchasing sorghum as soon as the new crop becomes available,” said Wayne Cleveland, TGSB Executive Director. TGSB is currently working with the Sorghum Checkoff (USCP) and the USGC to bring a group of buyers from Mexico and Latin America to Texas in June to show them the new crop and hopefully sell grain. TGSB wishes to thank the Texas Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Grains Council for their input on this mission trip.

Ag Groups Relaunch Farm Policy Education Campaign – Several agricultural groups, including Southwest Council of Agribusiness, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Crop Insurance Services, and others, have united to relaunch the Farm Policy Facts education campaign during the 113th Congress. This coalition helps to communicate with the media and members of Congress via regular email alerts that include farm policy information, case studies, and more. To learn more about the organization and view the “Fact of the Day”, click here.

Sorghum U Information Available Online – The Sorghum U educational event, held on Jan. 22 in Lubbock, Texas, brought in about 150 farmers who were eager to learn more about the water sipping sorghum crop and how they can make it successful and profitable in their farming operation. If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can watch the presentations from each breakout session and view the materials online at www.SorghumU.com. There were two sessions held – one in Kansas and one in Texas – and with the success of these events, a third event will be held in Nebraska later this month.

HPWD Schedules Public Hearing – The High Plains Underground Water District (HPWD) Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on Feb. 19 to consider rule amendments allowing a one-time only extension of the deadline for submitting production reports to the district for groundwater in 2012. The amendments would extend the March 1, 2013 deadline to June 1, 2013. The board may take action to adopt the rules amendments or may adopt them with the additional changes based on the comments and discussion at the hearing. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the A. Wayne Wyatt Board Room of the HPWD office. You can view the proposed amendments here. Also on HPWD news, the Board set public meetings to appoint an individual to fill the unexpired term of Precint 5 Director, Bruce Rigler of Plainview. Precint 5 represents a portion of Floyd County, all of Swisher County and all of Hale County. Information about the public hearing dates, locations, and an application may be found here.

2013 High Plains Ag Marketing Short Courses – Texas A&M AgriLife is offering two workshops in February to interested producers. The first workshop, “Intro to Futures and Options” is $50 and will be Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. This workshop will help participants gain a better understanding of the basics of how futures and options can be used in agricultural markets. The second workshop, “Feedgrains Workshop” is $125 and will be Feb. 13-14 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. This workshop delve deeply into what and how fundamental and technical factors are affecting the feed grains market for the upcoming year. Both courses will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Amarillo, Texas. The cost for each event covers meals, instruction, materials and breaks. To register for one or both of these events, visit http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu.

DCP and ACRE 2013 Sign-Ups – With the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the sign-up for the extended farm programs, including direct payments, will begin on Feb. 19. The Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP) sign-up period will end on Aug. 2, 2013, and the ACRE sign-up period will end on June 3, 2013. For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

Senate Plan on Comprehensive Immigration Reform – The Senate proposed bipartisan framework for the comprehensive immigration reform includes a new agricultural worker program that would make it easier for undocumented farm workers to become legally employed. The program would be part of a larger package aiming to create a pathway to citizenship for all illegal aliens while also providing businesses the ability to hire seasonal workers in a timely manner when U.S. workers are not available to fill jobs. This reform would be in exchange for increased border security and other provisions. National Sorghum Producers continue to stay on top of agricultural policy and actively engage in legislation that affect growers at the national policy making level.