Sorghum CEO Tim Lust Talks Sugarcane Aphids, Markets, Farm Policy and More from Commodity ClassicFri, 03 Mar 2017 05:09:27
As the 2017 Commodity Classic kicked off Thursday morning in San Antonio, members of the Sorghum industry came together for the Sorghum General Session for some practical and useful information about their crop of choice. Tim Lust, National Sorghum Producers CEO, took a moment to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn about some of the current issues facing the industry. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story to hear their full conversation from San Antonio.
Tim Lust acknowledges what may be the elephant in the room for the US grain sorghum industry- the Sugarcane Aphid. It is clearly the biggest threat to the success of producers right now.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” he said regarding the impact of sugarcane aphids. “Feel a lot better about it today then we did two years ago.”
He explains that when the aphids first started to appear a couple years ago, not much was known about them and there were very few ideas of what farmers could do to curb an infestation. However, since then, the Sorghum Checkoff has invested nearly $1 million in research and those involved will tell you that the good news is, they have found that the pest can be controlled. By budgeting in preventative pesticides, planting early and utilizing pest-tolerant plant varieties, Lust says you can grow a crop with little interference from the pests.
Another immediate issue facing Sorghum producers is the soft commodity market affecting most all grain producers. However, Lust believes sorghum’s versatility will keep the product moving as large grain stocks from the previous harvest continue to weigh on the market.
“We continue to see very strong export demand for sorghum,” Lust said. “We continue to see very strong biofuels demand domestically for sorghum. From that standpoint we’re moving through our stocks at a very quick pace and expect to be in good shape by the end of the year.”
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