Tim Lust, CEO United Sorghum Checkoff Program

(Jamie) We’re back! Let’s join Duane and Tim as they talk about exports.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again from Manhattan, Kansas, site of the Kansas Commodity Classic, a chance to catch up with Tim Lust, CEO of United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the National Sorghum Producers. Tim, we think about the sorghum industry came off a tremendous year a year ago as far as markets were concerned, 2015 a tremendous year in terms of production as well. (Tim) No doubt about it breaking a national yield record and having a crop that was substantially larger than a year ago, and frankly the biggest crop we’ve had in a dozen years. As we look at markets certainly export sales and shipments are actually still up over last year. Most producers are very surprised to hear that. Running even 20-25 percent ahead of shipment pace for last year. Our sales are slightly behind last year, but they’re still very substantial. It’s just a matter of the fact that we have a very large sorghum crop overall and in conjunction with slow movement of all other grains, it’s just not having the basis impact that it’s had in previous years. (Duane) That is one of the misnomers that I wanted you to dispel, that a lot of talk in the country, that China is not buying. That’s not true. It’s just that China doesn’t have to pay what they paid a year ago. (Tim) That’s absolutely right. China is still a huge buyer and I think the other thing that is really interesting this year is where last year literally we had basically two customers in the world, we have 10 countries that have already bought exports. Pakistan bought over 4 million bushels recently. So, we’ve had a lot of countries in the market, it’s just unfortunately a lot of grain world wide. (Duane) We think about the sorghum industry a tremendous production year a year ago, which is good news maybe alleviate some of those concerns about producers putting more sorghum acres into their crop rotations. (Tim) No doubt about it, when you go into as large of an expansion as we had a year ago in acres, you kind of wonder how it’s going to be and certainly breaking a national yield record a lot of positives in the face of the sugar cane aphid. No doubt that is a challenge, but it is something that producers are learning from a Checkoff standpoint, put a tremendous amount of grower dollars into working with Dow and Bayer trying to get as much information as possible, so that we can get that back out to producers so they have better information on exactly when to spray, what the economic thresholds are and we continue to fund a lot of that research here in 2016 as well. We’ll continue to have a lot more information to share next year. Even with those challenges, exciting to see some of the yields that we had around the country and exciting to see that growers are really moving forward in genetic seed with genetic improvement coming, an announcement this year with over the top grass control technology finally being approved. It’s been a long time coming and it will still take a little while to get it out. We will hopefully have some small quantities out this year. But those are things that are long time, pipeline issues and we’re just excited to see them continuing to move forward in sorghum. (Duane) Our thanks to Tim Lust, for joining us at the Kansas Commodity Classic. He is the CEO of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, the National Sorghum Producers here in Manhattan, Kansas. Jamie, back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane. Next up is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.

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