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NSP Update Price Reporting Continues, FTAs and More By Lindsay Kennedy and Jennifer Blackburn A

s reported in September, NSP has worked with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

to continue the current methodol- ogy used to calculate national grain sorghum price elections.

Recent severe budget cuts at the state level in Texas led to the loss of four of the six price reporting areas used to arrive at the grain sorghum insurance price elec- tion. Without the current methodology, NSP feared the USDA Risk Management Agency would revert to the old method- ology in which sorghum ranged from 88 to 95 percent of corn. From a sorghum producer’s standpoint, this costs produc- ers money and negatively infl uences planting decisions.

National grain sorghum price elec- tions for crop insurance have been calculated using a methodology developed by Texas A&M University. This methodology was selected by- RMA as a result of NSP’s work on the 2008 Farm Bill, which called for RMA to develop a transparent methodolo- gy by working with industry experts.

Even after discussions with USDA as late as Aug. 30, NSP was concerned that the price reporting might be dropped. Eff ective Sept. 1, the AMS offi ce in Amarillo, Texas, is now han- dling the reporting process with no negative impact on sorghum price elec- tions. NSP would like to thank USDA and other involved parties for working with NSP to resolve this issue.

With AMS now reporting Texas grain bids, the AMS website for state grain reports is still available to access cur- rent information. Go to AMSGrainReports. Texas High Plains


bids can be found in the Texas list of reports and the Texas Gulf Bid is now reported under the Louisi- ana Gulf bids.

Congress Passes FTAs

The National Sorghum Producers commended Congress Oct. 14 for rati- fying three bilateral trade agreements between the United States and Korea, Columbia and Panama.

The FTAs passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate chambers and are being hailed by some as the largest jobs bill of the years. These votes came a litt le more than a week af- ter the administration sent the package to Congress for consideration.

“We are extremely pleased to see Congress move so quickly to pass these long-standing free trade agreements,” said NSP Chairman Terry Swanson of Walsh, Colo. “This is a big step for agriculture and our indus- try stands to benefi t from this oppor- tunity by creating new market access for U.S. sorghum producers.

“The agriculture industry has waited nearly fi ve years for this to happen, and given the state of our struggling national economy, an agreement that is expected to generate more than $2 billion annually to U.S. farm exports

The FTA agreements are expected to be worth more than $2 billion a year and 20,000 jobs to U.S. agricul- ture exports. Photo courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

and support nearly 20,000 American jobs just makes sense.”

President Obama now must certify the Colombian, South Korean and Pana- manian governments have approved their own versions of the agreement. He will then set an implementation date for the phase-out of trade barriers, taxes and tariff s on American prod- ucts to begin, which is most likely to happen early next year.

SORGHUM Grower Fall 2011

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