News & Events
The U.S. Grains Council recently embarked on an informational marketing campaign championing the advantages of U.S. sorghum to feed millers in Japan and the Philippines. The Council led informational workshops in each country where topics were addressed concerning myths about sorghum, as well as its nutritional value as an alternative feed ingredient.
Dr. R. Scott Beyer, of Kansas State University, and Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of international operations, presented the information in an effort to spark interest among end-users in each country.
U.S. sorghum farmers’ investments in international marketing efforts pay dividends, as evidenced by USDA’s record of sorghum exports to Morocco. According to USDA’s Global Agricultural Trade System, Morocco went from importing no U.S. sorghum in 2009 to nearly 70,000 tons (2.6 million bushels) so far this marketing year through March.
As sorghum starts to make inroads into new countries, marketing arms like the U.S. Grains Council and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) play valuable roles in its promotion. As a result, three overseas markets show great potential for imports of the product: Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In its March 31 Planting Intentions report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. farmers intend to plant some 3.3 million acres of barley in 2010. If that estimate holds, barley acres will fall by some 8 percent from last year’s 3.6 million – and would be well below 2008’s 4.2 million acres.
U.S. barley stocks as of March 1 totaled approximately 157 million bushels, an increase of 22 percent from March 1, 2009, even though barley use increased about 12 percent during the December 2009-February 2010 period when compared to prior year.
The U.S. Grains Council selected Troy Skarke, sorghum farmer from Claude, Texas, and Greg Graff, farmer from Marienthal, Kan., for its nomination for the appointment to the open At-Large position on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board of Directors. As a certified producer organization, the Council is eligible to bring the slate of candidates forward for consideration at the National Sorghum Caucus on March 16. The Caucus will then forward possible candidates to the secretary of agriculture for final appointment.
FOODEX is the largest annual food expo in Japan, drawing more than 2,000 exhibitors from 60 countries and regions and 85,000 attendees. The U.S. Grains Council’s Japan office hosted a booth at the show and also participated in a cooking demonstration, where U.S. barley, corn meal and white sorghum recipes were showcased.
As a direct result of U.S. Grains Council programs, 7,000 metric tons (276,000 bushels) of U.S. sorghum was tendered to Morocco last week for mid-March delivery. Special checkoff funds from Council member United Sorghum Checkoff Program allowed staff from CasaGrains, the Moroccan poultry feed mill and production facility that tendered the sorghum, to travel to the United States and Mexico last November to view U.S. sorghum production and use firsthand.
The 2010 Commodity Classic is currently underway in Anaheim, Calif., as thousands of agricultural producers, agribusinesses, legislative officials and interested parties gather from across the United States for networking and educational opportunities.
As a partial sponsor of the event, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program’s (USCP) Board of Directors met to discuss policy priorities and the future of the checkoff initiative.
USDA released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) February 9, 2010. It projects a 10 million bushel increase from the previous month for U.S. sorghum exports to Japan and Mexico. The U.S. Grains Council and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) welcome this news as they actively promote U.S. sorghum in those markets. “2009 was a success story for revitalizing the U.S. sorghum export market to Mexico,” said Dr. Virgil Smail, USCP executive director. “We linked many Mexican buyers and U.S. sellers in an effort to achieve such success.
The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association and Grain Sorghum Board (NGSB) hosted its Annual Sorghum Cropping Profitability Seminar Thursday, Jan. 21 in Franklin, Neb. The program featured several speakers, including Alvero Cordero, U.S. Grains Council manager of international operations for marketing, and Florentino Lopez, U.S. Sorghum Checkoff Program marketing director. Cordero and Lopez discussed opportunities for U.S. sorghum in the global marketplace.