Texas Sorghum Insider

September 24, 2014

Sugarcane Aphid Webinar – The Coastal Bend Research and Extension Entomology team will provide a sugarcane aphid research update on a webinar tomorrow, September 25th, at 9:00 a.m. The webinar will provide a local perspective of sugarcane aphid sampling strategies, economic threshold, and results of efficacy studies to constituents in the Rio Grande Valley and Coastal Bend area of Texas.  Click here to listen to the meeting by selecting “Guest” and entering your name. If you will be listening in, it is recommended that you do a system check prior to the start time by clicking here. Finally, if you are having issues with the system check, click here to view a handout on resolving system issues. The webinar will be streaming from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Research Center in Corpus Christi.

Farm Facts by State – Farm Policy Facts unveiled a new interactive map highlighting state-specific agriculture contributions across the nation based on the USDA Ag Census data from 2012. Facts for all states include acreage, number of farms and farm receipts for each state, as well as links to full reports featuring information on top crops, typical farm size, and more. Click here to view the map. A few of the highlights from Texas include:  leads the nation in cattle and calves, sheep, goats, horses, cotton, hay, wool and mohair; second largest ag state in the U.S., with agriculture contributing $27.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2013; more than 248,500 farms and 130 million acres of farmland; 209,551 farms have less than 500 acres; 17,309 farms have between 500-1000 acres, and 21,949 farms have more than 1,000 acres; agriculture employs one out of every seven people working in Texas; and almost 80 precent of the land in Texas is in some form in agriculture production.

FSA Acreage Histories – Under the 2014 Farm Bill, landowners will have a one-time opportunity to reallocate base acres and update patent yields of covered commodities on a farm. On July 28, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) sent out letters to farmers and landowners notifying them of their planted and considered planted acreage history from 2008 to 2012. The Summary Acreage History Report shows a farm’s base acres, counter-cyclical yields, and 2008-2012 planted, prevented, double-crop, and subsequent acres. This FSA acreage history for a farm will be the basis for making base reallocation decisions for the next 5 years. Farmers and landowners should double check the information to make sure it is accurate, but if it is incorrect or incomplete, you must contact your local FSA office before Sept. 26.

Young Farmers on the Rise – Farm Policy Facts looked close at the 2012 Ag Census and found that young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased 11.3 percent from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 and 2012. The article pinpointed the how important strong farm policy is as young farmers starting out face higher input costs and lower crop prices, unprecedented global subsidization, regulatory burdens, and vocal opponents determined to weaken the farm safety net. Some help young farmers will find is in the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), which funds farmer education programs, and through a micro loan program in the new Farm Bill that makes credit more available for beginning farmers. Although reports are showing a slight increase in the number of young farmers, it is noted that it is not nearly enough to offset the number of farmers rapidly approaching retirement age.

Sorghum Highlighted in Huffington Post – A recent article on Huffington Post’s website focused on a few ancient grains and their comeback to the grocery shelves. Sorghum was highlighted in the article as being “good for you by having more vitamins and nutrients as compared to modern wheat.” The article also pointed out that sorghum is “higher in antioxidants which are believed to help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.” The writer, a pastry chef and author of ‘Sweet & Skinny’, then goes on to explain how these ancient grains that are making a comeback and are “quite delicious.” The article concludes with a recipe for a Blackberry and Blueberry Ancient Grain Gluten Free Crisp (pictured below) using sorghum flour as a main ingredient. Click here to read the full article and view the recipe.


Blackberry & Blueberry Ancient Grain Gluten Free Crisp (made w/ sorghum flour)