Texas Sorghum Insider

March 10, 2015

Texas Sorghum Group at the Texas Capitol in Austin Back Row L-R: James Born, Dan Krienke, Blake Tregellas, Warren Mayberry Middle: Dale Artho, Josh Birdwell, Brannon Byers, Clarence Chopelas, Wayne Cleveland Front: Charlcey Plummer, Jason Frantz, Greg Glover

Texas Sorghum Group at the Texas Capitol in Austin
Back Row L-R: James Born, Dan Krienke, Blake Tregellas, Warren Mayberry
Middle:  Dale Artho, Josh Birdwell, Brannon Byers, Clarence Chopelas, Wayne Cleveland
Front:  Charlcey Plummer, Jason Frantz, Greg Glover

2015 TGSP Austin Fly-In – During Feb. 16-18 Texas Grain Sorghum Producers (TGSP) hosted a “Capitol Day” in Austin in an effort to familiarize producers and industry leaders with legislators and decision makers in Austin. The group of 18 people which included sorghum producers and industry leaders from across the state spent a day and a half at the Capitol discussing sorghum and the ag industry during both group meetings, and individual appointments. Meetings with Senator Charles Perry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ag, Water & Rural Affairs; Dan Hunter, TDA’s Assistant Commissioner for Water and Rural Affairs; Drew DeBerry, Policy Director for Governor Abbott; Representative Tracy O. King, Chairman of the House Committee on Ag and Rural Livestock; Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick; House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus; the Texas Water Development Board; Senator Troy Fraser, Chairman of Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development; and numerous meetings with other Senators and Representatives took place during the fly-in. Attending Governor Abbott’s State of the State Address was also a highlight of the trip. “The 2015 legislative session served as a great opportunity for sorghum producers and industry leaders to educate folks in Austin about grain sorghum as well as the ag industry,” said Wayne Cleveland, Executive Director – TGSP. “I am very proud of the meeting lineup we were able to schedule and feel we conveyed a great message that while producers are still a minority, they efficiently feed a growing and hungry world.”

2014 Sorghum Checkoff Annual Report – Click here to view the 2014 Annual Report of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP). The report highlights 2014 U.S. sorghum planted acres (Texas had 2.5 million), 2014 financials (over $3.5 million was used for sorghum research), and what the Sorghum Checkoff is doing to improve the crop, enhance renewable fuels, expand markets, provide education, and increase leadership.

A snapshot of the 2014 Sorghum Checkoff Annual Report

Screen shot of the 2014 Sorghum Checkoff Annual Report

Texas Row Crops Newsletter – Don’t miss out on your chance to receive an online newsletter from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Click here to view current stories and to subscribe to receive the newsletter in your inbox! The first edition of the Texas Row Crops Newsletter included articles on:  Grain Sorghum and Resistance to Sugarcane Aphid, Early Rust Pressures in Texas Wheat, and Using Topguard to Control Root Rot. Subscribers will also receive upcoming events hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension across the state.

Alta Seeds Release New Sorghum Hybrids – Alta Seeds, the premium brand of Advanta, announced the addition of two new grain sorghum hybrids for the 2015 planting season. Alta Seeds released AG1101, an early maturity bronze colored grain sorghum, is adapted for use across the High Plains with strong drought tolerance, excellent uniformity, good threshability and well-suited to dryland farming. It is now their earliest maturing grain sorghum hybrid and works well for short-season or double-cropping situations. AG1301, a strong performer in drylands conditions responds favorably to irrigation, is a cream colored grain sorghum with medium-early maturity and is widely adapted to the Texas Panhandle with high yield potential and excellent root lodging and seedling vigor. For more information and Alta Seeds portfolio of sorghum products, visit www.AltaSeeds.com.

7 Years of Success – As the Sorghum Checkoff closes on its 7th year since its inception in 2008, many achievements in crop improvement, branding and market development have happened along the way. To view an online brochure of the highlights of the producer funded program from the past 7 years, click here.

7 Years of Success Screen Shot

Screen Shot of the Sorghum Checkoff’s 7 Years of Success Brochure.

Potential Baijiu Market in the U.S. – China’s potent liquor, Baijiu (pronounced “bye-joe”), will make a run in the U.S. The high-proof (usually bottled at 100 proof or higher) fermented spirit made from sorghum is a staple liquor in China and many businessman there go head to head to see who can take the most shots. Baijiu is expected to make a move into the U.S. market as it is already the world’s biggest-selling spirit, with an estimated $23 billion market. China consumes an estimated 10.6 billion liters per year and we will soon know if the U.S. feels the same way about this liquor that needs an acquired taste.

ARC/PLC Deadline – Don’t forget that the deadline for producers to sign up for the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) farm bill programs is March 31st. This is also the deadline to update yield history or reallocate base acres. If no changes are made by this date to yield history and base acres then the farm’s current base and yield will be used. There will be no 2014 payments for a farm that does not make a choice and it defaults the farm to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

Sorghum Exports Still Soaring - U.S. sorghum exports have reached commitments of 300 million bushels for 2014-15, or 69 percent of the total crop. In 2012-13, total exports were only 212 million bushels or 54 percent of that year’s crop. For the 2015-16 marketing year there has already been 8.6 million bushels contracted.