Texas Sorghum Insider

December 4, 2015

“Patriarchs” Retire from Grain Sorghum Board—Jack Cobb (Plains, TX) and Dale Spurgin (Allen, TX) both retired from the TGSB board of directors after 60 years of combined service. Mr. Spurgin and Mr. Cobb both began their years of service in the 1980’s essentially when the state program was just starting.

“Both men were instrumental in starting programs as well as guiding them through their awkward infancies into what we know today as a successful national checkoff (USCP and TGSB),” said Wayne Cleveland, Executive Director of TGSB. “As well as a highly functional membership program, NSP and TGSA.  Not many have had that level of awareness and tenacity but they both endured and conquered and for that we are most grateful.”

In addition to serving on the state boards both men served on national boards.  Mr. Spurgin served as the Chairman of the Board of the US Grains Council in 2001. “Their humility and desire to hear all voices from our industry is what defined their terms here.  They are both gentlemen that always erred on the side of the grower and remained true to their vision of a vibrant industry, of which we will enjoy for years to come.”

Jack Cobb (left) and Dale Spurgin (right) receive plaques in honor of their service to the sorghum industry at their final Texas Sorghum Board meeting.

Jack Cobb (left) and Dale Spurgin (right) receive plaques in honor of their service to the sorghum industry at their final Texas Sorghum Board meeting.

EPA Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) 2015 Ruling—On November 30th, the EPA released its final ruling for the Renewable Fuel Standard, covering volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 marketing years. The 2014 and 2015 levels reflect the increase in actual biofuel usage over the past two years, while the 2016 standards are intended to continue that upwards trend. Under these new requirements, advanced biofuel volumes will increase 25% from 2015 to 2016 – from 2.88 billion gallons to 3.61 billion gallons.


In 2012, the EPA classified grain sorghum as an D5 Renewable Identification Number advanced biofuel. This categorization is determined by biofuel’s net reduction of lifecycle (both the production and processing of the fuel) greenhouse gas emissions. According to this 2012 ruling, the EPA declared that sorghum not only met the 20% lifecycle greenhouse gas reduction threshold to qualify as a renewable fuel, but that it also met the 50% reduction threshold to be categorized as an advanced biofuel.


In finalizing these future volume requirements, the EPA is further committing to the viability of biofuels as an effective, environmentally-conscious solution for this country’s future energy needs. We look forward to continuing to expand the role of sorghum in that commitment.
All graphs, charts, and data available through the EPA at http://www2.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/final-renewable-fuel-standards-2014-2015-and-2016-and-biomass-based

Defense Against the Sugarcane Aphid—The sugarcane aphid guide is now posted to the USCP website: http://sorghumcheckoff.com/pest-management/. This booklet contains the most up-to-date information USCP has compiled regarding best management practices for SCA. If you would prefer a hard copy booklet, please contact Faith Jurek at faithj@sorghumcheckoff.com.

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