Texas Sorghum Insider

July 2, 2014

Chinese Participants on Texas Sorghum Tour. Photo taken at Clarence & Colin Chopelas field near Mathis, Texas.

International Group Participates in Crop Tour – Texas Grain Sorghum Producers (TGSP) hosted a crop tour for a group of Chinese sorghum buyers June 24-26, 2014. The Chinese sorghum buyers were primarily focused on large purchases for their duck producers. Additionally, one company was interested in containers of sorghum for vinegar production. The group was interested in current and future supplies of sorghum from Texas farmers. As part of the tour, the group visited a number of sorghum fields, which will be harvested within the next two weeks. The group also visited with several grain merchandisers during the week. The tours were across South and Central Texas, beginning near Houston, followed by the Corpus Christi area, then up to Austin, and the tour ended in the Fort Worth area. “We have really appreciated TSGP’s efforts,” Qin Zhao, with New Hope Group said. “We have gained a lot of knowledge from the farmers and grain merchandisers. This has been a very valuable trip.”

Mexico Anticipates Record Crop and Possible Exports – All indications from Mexico anticipate a sorghum crop that is 25% above normal. An estimated 310 million bushels of grain sorghum will be produced in the two major growing regions of Mexico, Sinaloa or “Bajio” and Tamulipas. With perfect growing conditions and an increasing demand for grain sorghum amongst poultry and swine producers, Mexican producers planted a record number of acres and are seeing above average yields. Mexico uses 346 million bushels of grain sorghum annually and generally imports 70 million bushels from the United States but has recently been displaced by China as the number one importer of US grain sorghum. To date, China has purchased approximately 160 million bushels of old and new crop grain sorghum. Mexico has a total feed demand of 1 billion bushels of grain, with poultry (meat and eggs) consuming 375 million bushels, and swine consuming 156 million bushels. Beef production consumes 84 million bushels and milk production requires 149 million bushels.  According to ANFACA, Mexico’s feed industry association, animal production is anticipated to almost double in the coming 10 years.

USDA/NASS Release Acreage Estimates – USDA and NASS released their acreage report Monday of this week and sorghum acres are very high in Texas showing three million acres across the state. Total sorghum acres for the U.S. were down 7 percent from 2013 at around 7.5 million (estimated 6.4 million acres to be harvested from grain) compared to 8.1 million acres last year. Texas is surpassing all other states for planted sorghum acres, where the usual leader in sorghum acres – Kansas – is estimated to have planted 2.8 million acres. Texas and Kansas account for 78% of the total U.S. sorghum acreage. Corn acres in the nation are estimated at 91.6 million acres, down four percent from last year. Corn acres in Texas are estimated at 1.8 million acres. Cotton acres in Texas are estimated at 6.46 million, while the total U.S. acres are being estimated at 11.4 million.

High Yields Expected in Current Sorghum Harvest in Texas – As TGSP traveled throughout most of Texas last week on the crop tour mentioned in the first story, it was no surprise that the Southwest Farm Press is reporting that the Southern region of Texas and the Rio Grande Valley could harvest a bumper sorghum crop. As combines begin rolling, nearly a million acres of grain sorghum will be harvested in the next month. The Valley is already reporting good yields and with dryer weather in South Texas and on the Coastal Bend late last week, sorghum yields are expected to be better than average in that region also.