Texas Sorghum Insider

July 2, 2015

Sugarcane Aphid in Lubbock Co. – On Monday, June 29, a small colony of sugarcane aphids was confirmed in one field in Lubbock Co., which is almost two months earlier than in 2014. Special tips from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for producers in this area has been uploaded to the Texas Sorghum website and can be reviewed by clicking here. Although at this point, the pest has only been confirmed in one location in Lubbock Co., we will await further reports from the High Plains in the next week, but growers in this area should begin scouting for this pest now.

USDA Expands Sorghum Acres to 8.84 Million – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its June acreage report this week, increasing its estimated planted grain sorghum acres to 8.84 million, up 11 percent from its March report and 24 percent over the previous year. The two largest grain sorghum-producing states, Kansas and Texas, planted 3.3 million and 3.1 million acres with an increase of 16 and 24 percent, respectively, over the last year.

State Technical Advisory Committee Appointments – Recently, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced the appointment of 129 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees. Among those selected were two board members for Texas Grain Sorghum Producers. TGSA President, Dale Murden of Harlingen, Texas was selected to serve on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables; and TGSA Board Member, Dale Artho of Wildorado, Texas, will serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee. To see all appointments, click here.

NSP’s 250 Bushel Yield Contest – The National Sorghum Producer’s Yield Contest provides sorghum farmers with the opportunity to showcase their sorghum crop and has again set a new yield goal of 250 bushels per acre to illustrate sorghum’s yield potential. NSP is offering incentives with support from the Sorghum Checkoff to award growers who reach this new benchmark. Contestants successfully participating in this category will receive:  1st Place – Three-year truck lease (Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, or Toyota); 2nd Place – All-terrain vehicle; 3rd Place – Riding lawn mower. For more information visit NSP’s website here or check out this video here.

Department of Energy Invests in Future of Sorghum – The U.S. Department of Energy has recently announced it will be investing $30 million in sorghum research through the Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program, one of two new programs providing a more secure and sustainable energy future. This is one of the largest investments the sorghum industry has seen to date and will have a significant impact on the future of sorghum. The TERRA program seeks to develop technologies that can increase the precision, accuracy and throughput of energy crops breeding. Doing so will enable more detailed measurements of phenotyping, plant physiology and more sophisticated bioinformatics for gene discovery and trait association.  A total of six projects were funded through the DOE at universities and research institutions across the nation.

Sorghum Recipe Contest – The Sorghum Checkoff is hosting a Sorghum Recipe Showdown this year. They are asking people across the country to create and submit their best sorghum recipes for a chance to win cool prizes, including $500. The contest seeks recipes that appeal to the home cook while demonstrating the benefits and versatility of cooking with sorghum. For full contest details click here.