Colombians & Japanese Tour Texas Sorghum – At the end of June, an international group from the large Japanese company, Zen Noh; and two participants from the largest feed milling company in Colombia, ITALCOL, toured various parts of the Texas sorghum industry. These groups made stops at sorghum farms, elevators and ports across southern and central Texas. Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, the US Grains Council and the Sorghum Checkoff sponsor international groups during the year to better educate them on the value and quality of Texas sorghum. It is important for these companies to see our product up close and visit with potential sellers of grain sorghum, so that Texas sorghum can be sold consistently and at a competitive price across the world. Another group from Japan will be coming to Texas at the end of July that will be represented by four large companies who want to learn more about our sorghum. Japan is currently the second largest importer of U.S. sorghum.
Proposal to Split Farm Bill Divides Congress – The National Journal reported there is tension between Republican Groups as the House Republican leadership tries to salvage the failed farm bill from last month. House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) leadership is getting tested by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). Cantor and other groups are portraying Boehner as a weak leader and are trying to make the more conservative Cantor the speaker. It is now stirring up tension as to whether House members have become more responsive to national conservative groups than to farmers and anti hunger advocates in their own districts. Cantor voted for the Farm Bill on June 20, but since its defeat has been promoting the idea of splitting the bill in two, which would separate votes on the nutrition and farm programs. Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) on the other hand, stands by his bill and said that conservatives were turning their back on the bill’s $40 billion in savings over 10 years, including a $20 billion cut in food stamps. Congress will return on Monday and Boehner returns with a coalition letter of 532 farm groups “urging him to bring the bill back to the floor and move a unified farm bill forward.”