Texas Sorghum Insider

February 20, 2017

TGSA Annual Meeting Brings Industry Together— More than 60 representatives of the sorghum industry met in Austin the second week of February for a joint annual meeting of TGSA and Texas Seed Trade Association (TSTA). The 85th Legislative Session provided an ideal backdrop for producers and industry representatives to converge in Austin. The meeting began with keynote speaker, Representative Larry Gonzales Chairman of House Committee on Appropriations. The following morning approximately 30 TGSA board & delegate body members met with more than 20 elected officials and staff members to discuss ag issues and concerns as the new session begins. This was TGSA’s second annual meeting since completing a restructure process last year. For more information about TGSA’s restructure, governance or membership, contact Patrick Wade, Patrick@texassorghum.org.


Members of TGSA and TSTA pictured with Rep. Mary Gonzalez.

When to Trigger a Second Application for Sugarcane Aphid—Research at Lubbock, Halfway and Bushland examined the yield loss that would be caused by sugarcane aphids if the first control attempt failed or could not be implemented. Yield loss in susceptible sorghum was 2,900 to 4,000 lbs./acre, while yield loss in a resistant hybrid grown with more irrigation was 1,230 lbs. A leaf damage rating scale was developed, and data suggest that the top 50 – 60% of the canopy must be protected in order to avoid excessive yield loss. Given the rapid population increase potential of the sugarcane aphid, we recommend applying insecticide no later than when the bottom 20% of leaves are damaged and active aphid colonies are present. Principal Investigator: Pat Porter, Extension Entomologist Other Investigator(s):Blayne Reed, Kerry Siders, Tommy Doederlein and Katelyn Kesheimer, Extension Agents IPM Cooperator: Ed Bynum, Extension Entomologist

USDA to Survey Producers’ Planting Intentions for 2017—Beginning the last week of February, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin surveying approximately 84,000 of the nation’s farmers and ranchers to determine their plans for the upcoming growing season.  The Southern Plains Regional office will contact approximately 8,000 producers in Oklahoma and Texas, almost 10% of the national total. The Prospective Plantings report is highly anticipated by the agricultural industry, as it provides the first look at planting intentions for the 2017 crop year.  In addition, this report will provide the first estimate of harvest acres for winter wheat and oats, as well as grains and oilseeds stored on farm.  The March Agricultural Survey gathers the factual data to provide indications for the estimates, and is based on producer response to the survey. Producers may use this report to make marketing decisions for the upcoming growing season, while agri-businesses rely on the data to allocate resources to help better serve the industry.  Government agencies, particularly those within USDA, will use the data to help make policy decisions and administer farm programs that effect producers – not only this year, but in years to come as the current 2014 Farm Bill is set to expire in 2018. As with all NASS surveys, the results of this survey will be available in aggregate form only, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. The Prospective Plantings report and the Quarterly Grain Stocks report will be released on March 31, 2017, and will be available online at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/

Texas House Agriculture & Livestock Committee Named—Last week, Texas House leadership published committee assignments for the 85th Legislature. The announcement, which came weeks after the Senate assigned committees and began referring them legislation, altered the composition of many influential committees but left the Agriculture committee relatively similar to its membership in the 84th Legislature. Chairman Tracy King of Batesville retained leadership of the committee for the third session. Representative Mary Gonzalez of Clint replaced Representative Doc Anderson as Vice-Chair, though, with Representative Anderson retaining membership on the committee. Representatives Matt Rinaldi (Irving) and John Cyrier (Lockhart) also retained membership on the committee. Two members of the 84th Legislature committee did not retain their spot: David Simpson – following his unsuccessful bid for the Texas Senate – and Representative Drew Springer. They have been replaced by Representative Dustin Burrows of Lubbock and Representative Lynn Stucky of Denton. TGSA’s Delegate Body met with many of the Agriculture committee members during its fly-in to Austin last week, and we look forward to building on those relationships to develop strong agricultural policy this session.

Market Perspectives–Sorghum: Net sales of 134,900 MT for 2016/2017 were up noticeably from the previous week and from the prior 4-week average. Increases were for China (174,500 MT, including 113,000 MT switched from unknown destinations), Japan (13,000 MT, including 3,000 MT switched from unknown destinations and decreases of 100 MT), the Republic of South Africa (9,500 MT, switched from unknown destinations), and Mexico (7,900 MT, including decreases of 4,000 MT). Reductions were reported for unknown destinations (70,000 MT). Exports of 153,000 MT were up noticeably from the previous week and up 40 percent from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were China (121,600 MT), Japan (18,000 MT), the Republic of South Africa (9,500 MT), and Mexico (3,900 MT). To read the entire Market Perspectives, provided by the US Grains Council, click here.
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