Texas Sorghum Insider

October 23, 2014

A group of sorghum buyers from Mexico tour the Diamond Ethanol plant in Levelland, Texas.

A group of sorghum buyers from Mexico tour the Diamond Ethanol plant in Levelland, Texas.

Mexico Sorghum Buyers in Texas – Last week, prior to attending the USGC Export Exchange in Seattle, a group of sorghum buyers from Mexico toured the sorghum industry in Houston and the South Plains. The buyers represented feed mills, dairies, poultry companies and two of the largest cattle operations in Mexico. The group, sponsored by the USGC, TGSB and USCP, visited with various growers, seed companies, first handlers and end-users. In an average year, Mexico purchases 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. grain sorghum destined for export, equating to approximately 100 million bushels. Next week, a group of sorghum buyers from China will tour the High Plains and the Port of Houston. China has already committed to 2.3 million metric tons or 91.6 million bushels of grain sorghum. The international demand for US sorghum reached a record high spread at the Gulf of 130 percent the price of corn last week. Sorghum basis as high as $1.95 has been reported in the region.

A group of grain buyers from Taiwan visit the Sorghum Checkoff (USCP) booth at the USGC Export Exchange in Seattle this week. Pictured with the group is Florentino Lopez (Exec. Dir., USCP), Bill Kubecka (Board Member, USCP), and Wayne Cleveland (Exec. Dir., TGSP).

A group of grain buyers from Taiwan visit the Sorghum Checkoff (USCP) booth at the USGC Export Exchange in Seattle this week. Pictured with the group is Florentino Lopez (Exec. Dir., USCP), Bill Kubecka (Board Member, USCP), and Wayne Cleveland (Exec. Dir., TGSP).

Export Exchange Exposes Need for More Sorghum – Sponsored by the US Grains Council (USGC) and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), approximately 180 of grains best international customers gathered in Seattle to learn more about grain exports. USCP sponsored a booth that received an inordinate amount of attention due to the popularity of sorghum’s new market in Asia. “Most people that visited the booth wanted to know if more sorghum would be available and if growers have expressed an interest in planting more acres in years to come,” explained Wayne Cleveland, TGSP Executive Director. Concerns also focused around the movement of grain sorghum within constraints of ongoing rail issues and the need for more nutritional information among different species where grain sorghum has not been traditionally utilized. “Notably present at sorghum’s booth were end-users from Mexico that look forward to purchasing opportunities toward the beginning of the new year,’ said Cleveland. “Mexico has been a valued customer for a long time that understands the value of sorghum in their feed rations and looks forward to the opportunity to purchase more sorghum.”

South Plains Sugarcane Aphid Update – Please click here to view a special edition of the FOCUS on South Plains Agriculture newsletter released by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center at Lubbock. This edition summarizes the current status of sugarcane aphids on area sorghum crops. This month’s regular edition of their newsletter also focused on information about the sugarcane aphid. If you missed the initial edition of the newsletter this month, click here to view it.

APH Yield Exclusion to be Implemented for 2015 Spring Crops – Earlier this month, USDA announced it would delay implementing the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion for two years even though it was passed and signed into law. However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this week the implementation the APH initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. The APH Yield Exclusion allows farmers to exclude yields in exceptionally bad years from their production history when calculating yields used to establish their crop insurance coverage. Yields can be excluded from the farm APH when the county average yield for that crop year is at least 50 percent below the 10 previous consecutive crop year’s average yield. By excluding unusually bad years, farmers will not have to worry that a natural disaster will reduce their insurance coverage for years to come.

High Plains AgriLife Farm Bill Informational Meetings – Texas A&M AgriLife will host several educational meetings in District 1 concerning the new Farm Bill. The meetings are free and open to the public. The meetings will demonstrate the Farm Bill decision-aid tool to help producers economically evaluate program choices. AgriLife Extension economists will provide analysis of the policy options using examples of producers who have already been through the decision aid process. USDA FSA staff will also be at the meetings to discuss farm bill provisions, and sign-up requirements and deadlines. All meetings will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at noon.Each location will also offer an optional “hands-on” afternoon session for producers wanting assistance entering their data into the decision-aid tool. A&M AgriLife is hosting the meetings and the series of meetings is cosponsored by the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Wheat Producers, Texas Corn Producers, and the Plains Cotton Growers Association.

  •  Nov. 3 – Deaf Smith County, Hereford Community Center, Hereford
  • Nov. 4 – Hall County, Kathy Fowler Building, Memphis
  • Nov. 6 – Hall County, Bob Willis Center, Turkey
  • Nov. 11 – Dallam/Hartley Counties, FBC Family Life Center, Spearman
  • Nov. 12 – Moore County, Moore County Community Building, Dumas
  • Nov. 13 – Wheeler County, Wheeler Co. Ag & Family Life Center, Wheeler
  • Nov. 17 – Lipscomb County, Wolf Creek Heritage Museum, Lipscomb
  • Nov. 18 – Potter County, Texas A&M AgriLife Center, Amarillo
  • Nov. 19 – Ochiltree County, Ochiltree Expo Center, Perryton
  • Nov. 20 – Randall County, Kuhlman Extension Center, Canyon
  • Nov. 25 – Briscoe County, Happy State Bank Pioneer Room, Silverton
  • Dec. 4 – Hemphill County, Hemphill Co. Exhibition Center, Canadian
  • Dec. 5 – Donley County, Church of Christ Family Life Center, Clarendon
  • Dec. 8 – Armstrong County, Armstrong Activity Center, Claude
  • Dec. 10 – Oldham County, Oldham Co. Barn, Vega
  • Dec. 11 – Roberts County, Roberts Co. Annex, Miami
  • Dec. 16 – Carson County, War Memorial Building, Panhandle
  • Dec. 17 – Gray County, Clyde Carruth Show barn in Recreation Park, Pampa
  • Dec. 18 – Collingsworth County, Bura Handley Comm. Bldg., Wellington

Additional Farm Bill Meetings in Texas – In addition to the AgriLife District 1 meetings, AgriLife Extension in other areas are also holding Farm Bill informational meetings. Floyd County will have a meeting on Wednesday, October 29th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Lighthouse Electric Coop in Floydada. Also, three counties in the Rio Grande Valley (Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy) are teaming up and will hold a regional meeting on Thursday, Oct. 30th in the Hoglitzelle Auditorium at the A&M Research & Extension Center in Weslaco. Breakfast tacos and coffee will be available at 8:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 9:00 a.m.

Featured Sorghum Flour Recipe

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

1 cup Only Oats pure whole grain oat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup peanut butter or nut-free butter (Wowbutter worked great)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cocoa powder, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
3.  In another bowl, mix together the bananas (I like to mash mine with a potato masher), brown sugar, sour cream, oil, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
4.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5.  Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.
6.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
7.  Let muffins sit in the tin for a few minutes, before gently removing them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.