Tim Lust Talks China Dumping Charges Against US Sorghum and More With Carson Horn at Commodity ClassicWed, 28 Feb 2018 19:17:11 CST
During the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif. this week, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Tim Lusk, National Sorghum Producers CEO. This year, Lusk says the sorghum industry faces many challenges but also the opportunity to continue advancing the grain in the commodity markets. You can listen to Horn’s full interview with Lusk by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Earlier this year, Lusk was surprised to hear the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China had launched anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations related to sorghum imported to China from the United States. Lusk told Horn that this is something new that the industry has never before been accused of and believes producers have done nothing wrong. He asserted that NSP was fully cooperating with the investigations and hopes to work through this process as quickly as possible.
“It is not to the WTO process at this point, it is just a government direct interaction to start the process that could lead to further tariffs down the road… or nothing,” Lusk said. “This was a case that wasn’t brought by any individuals in China that weren’t concerned about what was happening. Certainly, this is a time for us to step forward and defend our farmers.”
Lusk says the process is ongoing and will continue to for some time as the nature of these proceedings can be rather drawn out. The immediate concern for Lusk is that markets have reacted negatively to this news, but since the initial breaking of this news, he says prices have significantly recovered. China is US sorghum’s largest customer with roughly a billion-dollar economic impact on American agriculture. And, like most farm organizations at this time, NSP is gearing up for Farm Bill negotiations. Given the current trade environment, Lusk says the need and reason for solid farm policy that can provide a reliable safety net is underscored.
“Individual farmers do not have the financial wherewithal to get caught up with international trade battles and live to tell about it,” Lusk said. “That’s why the PLC program is important to our growers, because it does provide that Title I safety net. Allowing growers in this new Farm Bill the option to look at making changes if they’re not comfortable with whichever program they’ve signed up for they would have the ability to make that change. Certainly, do no harm to crop insurance and if there’s opportunities to make small tweaks and improvements that could be positive for growers, that would be very helpful.”
Regarding conservation, Lusk says this is an area that is very important to farmers, but says that frankly many of the programs have not worked as well as intended in the Midwest for sorghum growers.
“We’re really pushing in the Conservation Title just to make sure that the programs that are there do work for our growers throughout the United States but certainly in the Western Plains,” Lusk said. “That those are programs that can provide additional benefits to help in those farming operations.”
In the meantime, Lusk says the association is committed to exploring new opportunities for sorghum producers and growing their market access. Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear Lusk speak more about other topics such as the impact of the Sugar Cane Aphid and sorghum’s role with the new TERRA project in conjunction with the Department of Energy.
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