Texas Sorghum Insider

June 19, 2013

Contact Your Congressman’s Office ASAP – With uncertainty looming without a Farm Bill passed this year, it is now time to take action. The Senate recently passed their version of the Farm Bill and now it is time to get it through the House so that farmers know what to expect from the government in the next five years. Many amendments were filed to the House Farm Bill and now agricultural groups are asking for your help to vote FOR the Farm Bill and AGAINST all amendments to the Commodity Title and Crop Insurance. Debates on the amendments started at 11:00 am EST today and will go through 3:00 pm EST tomorrow. Email your representative’s Ag LA and call and leave a message with your congressman’s office. Use this website link to find information on how to contact your local congressman.

Concern for Sorghum Midge in the Coast & Valley – The National Sorghum Producers (NSP) recently put out a document to help growers in the Coast and the Rio Grande Valley with sorghum midge problems. The article describes the pest as a fragile looking, reddish orange fly about one-eighth to one-sixteenth inches long, smaller than a fruit fly. Each midge has the ability to lay 50 eggs and does a remarkable job of spreading them around to fifty different sorghum flowers during her one-day life. The eggs hatch in two-three days with larvae developing and feeding on the kernel. The emerging adult fly leaves behind the clear or white pupal skin. If you see this cocoon like remains at the tip of the spikelet then damage has already been done resulting in no or shriveled grain. To monitor and control this pest, appropriate inspection is required. Field checks must be made beginning shortly after blooming begins. Inspect field borders first, particularly those downwind of earlier flowering sorghum or johnsongrass. Monitor from mid-morning to early afternoon and at a low wind time. Currently, one midge per head suggests value for spraying the insect – later season planting is generally more vulnerable. If adults are found 3 to 5 days after the first application fof insecticide, immediately apply a second insecticide treatment. Choice of insecticide can be best determined by the ag supplier or aerial applicator. For more information, contact your local crop consultant or A&M AgriLife Extension Agent.

Sorghum Seeding Rates Video on YouTube – The Sorghum Checkoff has released a YouTube video about how to determine the seeding rate that is best for your crop. It is important to consider the appropriate seeding rates to achieve high yields. Seeding rate largely depends on your region of production and moisture condition, both at planting and in season. To view this information video, brought to you by the SorghumCheckoff, click here.

Sorghum Checkoff Seeking Proposals – The Sorghum Checkoff is soliciting proposals for targeted research and education, with the goal to “Further Enhance the Opportunities for Sorghum Producers through Specific Projects and/or Education that will Increase Productivity and/or Demand.” For more information on each specific proposal in the categories of “crop improvement”, “high value markets”, and “renewables” please contact the Sorghum Checkoff. Proposals are due Monday, August 5, 2013 by 8:00 a.m. CST and can be submitted to proposals@sorghumcheckoff.com.