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Agricultural News

Farm Bill Offers Improvements to Sorghum

Tue, 13 Jan 2015 12:34:12 CST

Farm Bill Offers Improvements to Sorghum
Sorghum farmers can look forward to some improvements in how the crop is treated in the 2014 Farm Bill. Congress made improvements to crop insurance for the crop and the sorghum reference price was raised to $3.95. This gives farmers more reasons to consider sorghum this year.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with National Sorghum Producers spokesperson Chris Cogburn. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR to listen to the full conversation.

Cogburn commended House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas for the improvements as these changes are allowing sorghum to compete on a more level playing field with other crops. Cogburn said sorghum is able to compete with spring seeded crops and even better with wheat through the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) coverage. He said SCO yields for wheat in southeastern Colorado and the Texas panhandle were extremely low and the premiums were high.

Implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill is coming together. Cogburn said there are still some holes in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) yields, but looks for those to be addressed by February first.

With some decent yields this year, Cogburn said he doesn't look for Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments for 2014. So farmers will need to look at 2015 -2018 in deciding which risk management program will work best for their farm. Cogburn said farmers also need to look at SCO coverage along with their crop insurance.

Sorghum is also enjoying strong prices with increased demand from China. In the latest estimate of market year average prices from Art Barnaby of Kansas State University, Cogburn said it showed sorghum is within six cents of corn for a national market price. With continued demand, he said sorghum may have a market year with prices above corn for the whole marketing year, which is unheard of.

"It's having a huge impact in the country and it's showing up in the prices farmers are receiving," Cogburn said.


Ron Hays interviews Chris Cogburn of National Sorghum Producers
right-click to download mp3


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