Commodity Classic Clayton Short

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm, I’m Jim Shroyer and with us we have Clayton Short, the Chairman of the Grain Sorghum Commission here in Kansas from Saline County. And just real briefly Clayton, tell me what are the good things that are going on for grain sorghum producers or agriculture in general in Kansas? (Clayton) I think all of us know that the grain price is suffering a little bit however, the sorghum price with our improved basis has been impressive. We all know the cattle situation, with record prices. We’re seeing record basis levels and that is attributed to the Chinese exports. We are very excited about that. I think our next issue will be, is can we get those prices, can be get those bases to roll the new crop, 2015 crop? We’re making cropping decisions now and we’ve got to have some movement there to force more sorghum acres in the ground. (Jim) Right, right. Well a lot of those acres have gone to corn and soybeans over the years. (Clayton) They have. (Jim) But I think with the low prices with corn you know, sorghum’s looking a lot better. (Clayton) Absolutely and we’ve got some water issues in Kansas- that’s positive for sorghum. We’ve got some of the larger companies, seed companies and chemical companies reemphasizing yield. And some weed control, that probably is our number one negative right now is our weed issues in sorghum. (Jim) What about trade with Cuba? How’s that fit in with sorghum growers? (Clayton) Obviously it’s a really close, really good market. We should be competitive down there. I’m not sure what their use is really. How many bushels it represents. But to be honest, with the high sorghum prices obviously the high bases crisis, Cuba may be priced out for right now. China is… they have a definite need for sorghum and they are making it known. (Jim) Well what about… you’ve said some positives, what are some negatives? You also mentioned some negatives with low commodity prices in general. What are some things that need to be improved on for sorghum? (Clayton) Yea, sorghum has some issues, sorghum does. (Jim) I can think of one. (Clayton) Producers number one concern is weed control. (Jim) Exactly. (Clayton) We do not have very many over the top chemicals. We struggle killing the weeds if they come up with the sorghum. And then number two, there has not been a lot of genetic improvement in sorghum yield and that is an issue. We’re trying. There’s some things in the pipeline. There was some real positive information that came out of the Hays Experiment Station with some improved yields. But those are still two or three years away. They’re not in a “in the bag” form yet for farmers to start to grow. And we’ve got some herbicide things coming down the pike too. (Jim) OK. So, tell me why should a grain sorghum producer be a member of the Grain Sorghum Grower’s Association? I realize you’re a commissioner on the commission side. (Clayton) Listen, every one that is producing grain, regardless of what it is, soybeans, corn or grain sorghum needs to belong to their association. That is your lobbying arm. That is who is representing you that affect your production of grain sorghum on the farm. Everything from the EPA, this Farm Bill lobbying for different aspects of that. Growers need to be represented or regulation will eat you up on the farm. (Jim) Clayton, I really appreciate you taking time with us here this morning.
(Clayton) Thank you Jim. (Jim) Thank you. And folks, we’ll be right back with these words from our sponsors.

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