Texas Sorghum Insider

October 16, 2017

Association to Host South Texas PAC EventsThis week TGSA and NSP will host a series of joint PAC fundraisers in South Texas. The Sorghum PAC and Texas SorGo PAC help elect and re-elect Members of Congress and members of the Texas Legislature who support sorghum producers and a strong, effective sorghum industry. Events being tomorrow and are listed below. Everyone is invited to attend, please keep in mind contributions must come from personal accounts, contributions from corporate accounts cannot be accepted.  


Tuesday, Oct 17—Lunch, noon 
Butter Churn 
207 W Sinton St
Sinton, TX 78387

Tuesday, Oct. 17—Dinner, 7 p.m.
Rio Farms 
25601 FM 88
Monte Alto, TX 78538

Wednesday, Oct. 18—Dinner, 7 p.m.
Jim Massey Barn
2827 CR 27
Robstown TX 78380

PLC Payments Issued—Beginning this month, farmers and ranchers across the country will be receiving more than $8 billion in payments through the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs for the 2016 crop year. PLC and ARC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to producers when there is a substantial drop in revenue or prices for covered commodities. Over a quarter million producers will receive PLC payments for 2016 crops, including sorghum growers. Sorghum growers across the country will receive $1.16 per bushel for a total of $373 million and a national average payment of $59.72 per acre. 

House Passes Disaster Relief Funding Package—On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an emergency disaster relief bill that called for $36.5 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program. Hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires have caused significant damage across the country in recent months, and these agencies have incurred massive costs in their initial relief efforts.

Leadership in the House sought to make it clear, however, that this $36.5 billion was only an initial replenishing of the coffers, and that more money would be specifically designated for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas. This clarification came after Texas Governor Greg Abbott accused the Texas delegation to the House of “lacking a stiff spine” in negotiating relief for Texans. Governor Abbott, who has vociferously advocated for federal dollars to aid in the rebuilding of homes and businesses affected by Harvey, had hoped the House would take up Texas’s $19 billion relief request with this emergency disaster relief funding. House leadership assured the Governor that this bill was only concerned with keeping federal agencies open, but that they would take up the $19 billion request within the next month.

Texas Senate Schedules Interim Hearing on Harvey—The Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs announced it would be holding a hearing in New Caney next week aimed at evaluating water infrastructure and regional flood management projects. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Legislature has issued a number of water and flood-related interim charges.

The New Caney hearing has two charges:

1) Study and identify ways to improve the capacity and maintain the structure of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. Report on mechanisms that would ensure the public has access to timely and transparent release figures from reservoirs across the state. 

2) Evaluate current state data-sharing standards for rainfall and stream gauges and whether regional flood management projects and flood warnings should be hosted in a centralized location, such as a state agency web page. Determine whether a statewide real-time flood warning system could be developed and coordinated through mobile devices, TxDOT electronic signage, communication devices and whether existing local and regional forecasting infrastructure could be integrated into a centralized inclement weather forecasting system.

If you have any suggestions for the state legislature regarding subjects it should study for hurricane relief – whether it relates to agriculture relief or rural community relief – please reach out to TGSA and we will pass them along.

WASDE Report Raises Sorghum Forecast—The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report has projected the national average sorghum yield at 72.2 bushels per acre, up from 69.8 bushels per acre in the September report. This is the third year in a row the national average will be above 70 bushels per acre. Until 2015-2017, the national average had never been above 70 bushels per acre in two consecutive years. This illustrates the significant strides made in sorghum production practices and genetics over the past decade.