Texas Sorghum Insider

April 14, 2015

Sugarcane Aphid Research – The Sorghum Checkoff in collaboration with Dow AgroSciences has announced a $350,000 plan to address the sugarcane aphid in U.S. sorghum production ranging from key management protocols to optimal spray thresholds. Leading scientific and entomology cooperators from 12 states will partner with USCP and Dow AgroSciences. Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board (TGSB) also committed approximately $95,000 to other projects in the state pertaining to the sugarcane aphid research and education this year. Also, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has recently released a blog for the most up-to-date sugarcane aphid news in the state. You can view or subscribe to the blog at txscan.blogspot.com.

5 Reasons to Plant Grain Sorghum This Year – The Sorghum Checkoff (USCP) is giving you five very good reasons to plant grain sorghum this year and they include: 1) Highest new crop bids in history; 2) Strong demand for grains globally; 3) Highest potential profit; 4) Risk aversion; and 5) Strong yield potential. To echo these statements, sorghum is very competitive with other grains this year, exports to China are exploding, production costs are low, less water is required as compared to other mainstream crops, and producers are putting up higher and higher yields each year. Still not convinced? – Click here to read USCP’s complete story.

2015 Sorghum Acres – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Prospective Plantings report estimates that grain sorghum acreage in Texas in 2015 will be up 20 percent from last year. In 2014 Texas planted 2.5 million acres and USDA predicts that number will jump to 3 million acres this year. In Texas, corn is expected to be up 2% from 2.25 million acres to 2.30 million acres, all wheat is expected to be down 2% from 6 million acres to 5.9 million acres, all cotton is expected to be down 8% from 6.217 million acres to 5.715 million acres, all sunflowers are expected to be down 9% from 104,000 acres to 95,000 acres, peanuts are expected to stay the same at 130,000 acres, soybeans are expected to be down 6% from 155,000 acres to 145,000 acres, and all rice is expected to stay the same at 150,000 acres. The total sorghum acreage for the U.S. is expected to reach 7.9 million acres in 2015 which is up 11 percent from 7.1 million acres in 2014. Out of the 7.1 million acres planted in 2014 in the nation, 6.4 million acres were harvested. Several states such as Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma are predicted to expand on planted sorghum acreage this year. If USDA’s predictions prove accurate, Texas will surpass Kansas as the highest planted sorghum state by 100,000 acres.
To compare, a March planting intentions survey conducted by Farm Futures recently found producers ready to boost sorghum seedings 18% this spring to 8.4 million acres. At its outlook conference in February, USDA forecasts farmers will plant only 5.1% more acres to sorghum this spring; however, contradicted to their above outlook and since then, corn prices have deteriorated deeper into the red. While surpluses of other crops mount, sorghum inventories are expected to end the marketing year with just a 23-day supply, the second tightest level in the past 40 years. Exports, driven by sales to China, are forecast at their best in 25 years. The article published in Farm Futures, goes on to say, Chinese grain processors turned to sorghum when their government effectively banned corn imports from the U.S. late in 2013. But while the ban on U.S. imports has been lifted officially, corn purchases from the U.S. remain minimal. Only 3.25 million bushels has been shipped so far. By contrast, total 2014 crop sales and shipments of sorghum to China hit 248 million bushels this week. To read the entire article, click here.


USCP Request for Pre-Proposals – The Sorghum Checkoff (USCP) is soliciting 2016 pre-proposals for targeted research and education with the goal to “Further Enhance the Opportunities for Sorghum Producers through Specific Projects and/or Education that will INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY, DEMAND and/or VALUE.” Pre-proposals are due by 8:00 a.m. CST on May 8th, 2015. Proposals that were selected in the pre-proposal process will then be eligible for full proposal submission this summer. Send pre-proposals to proposals@sorghumcheckoff.com. For more details on the formatting and guidelines, click here.

USDA Seeking USCP BOD Nominees – USDA is seeking nominations for sorghum producers to serve on the Sorghum Checkoff board of directors. There are four producer member vacancies with Kansas having two available seats, Texas having one available seat, and one at-large seat is available. Any sorghum producer who grows sorghum can be considered for nomination. All eligible producers are invited to submit a nomination by May 1, 2015. Producers must be nominated by a Certified Producer Organization and must submit a completed applications. More information can be found here.

Sorghum Scholarships – The National Sorghum Foundation is again offering the Sorghum Challenge scholarships and the Rosenow Memorial scholarships. The challenge scholarship is offered to undergraduate students enrolled in an agriculture-based department, is $1,500 and includes a full expense paid trip to Washington D.C. with National Sorghum Producers (NSP). The Rosenow Memorial scholarship is offered to undergraduate students enrolled in agriculturally-based departments related to agronomy, plant pathology and plant breeding with an emphasis on sorghum. Deadline for submissions is June 1, 2015 and more information can be found here.