Sorghum Association, Commission & Checkoff

The Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association was organized in 1976 by Kansas farmers to provide legislative and regulatory issue representation as well as to serve as a promotion and communications tool for grain sorghum producers in Kansas. The nine member board represents the nine crop reporting districts of Kansas.

Like I explained in the previous post with the corn growers, the sorghum association gives growers a voice in legislative, regulatory and industry affairs through efforts funded through membership dues.

KGSPA is active in lobbying for grain sorghum growers on a state and national level. From water quality and pesticides to ethanol and the farm bill, KGSPA is the recognized voice of the Kansas grain sorghum farmers in Topeka and in Washington DC. KGSPA works closely with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, EPA and other regulatory bodies to make certain the needs and concerns of Kansas grain sorghum producers are heard. KGSPA also has close working relationships with companies involved with the grain sorghum industry.

The National Sorghum Producers, based out of Lubbock, TX represents producers from coast to coast. They also serve as a voice for producers in the areas of legislation, promotions, and industry affairs.

Then, there is the Sorghum Checkoff. The USCP efficiently invests checkoff dollars to increase producer profitability and enhance the sorghum industry. They as a group what we cannot do individually: to provide research, market development and communications.

The Program is funded by an assessment of 0.6 percent of the net market value of grain sorghum and 0.35 percent of the net market value of sorghum forage, silage, hay, haylage, and billets. All producers marketing sorghum must pay the assessment. Imports of such products would also be assessed, although imports are very limited at this time. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized, under the Act, to collect assessments in the absence of the Board through a collecting agent at a financial institution.

The Program is designed to increase the profitability of U.S. sorghum producers, advance sorghum into the ethanol market, and develop foreign markets for sorghum.

Based on current grain sorghum prices and production, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates that the program will generate approximately $7 million annually. First purchasers of grain sorghum collect and remit assessments.

Producers may request a refund up to the date of the announcement of the results of the referendum by following procedures laid out prior to the vote. In the case that the referendum is unsuccessful, producers who have requested a refund will receive a prorated share of assessments held in reserve prior to the announcement of the results of the referendum. If the referendum is approved, producers will not be entitled to receive the requested refunds and the refund provision is no longer effective. 

According to USDA data, the top five grain sorghum producing states account for 88 percent of total U.S. production. Total U.S. production of grain sorghum in 2008 was 472,342,000 bushels. The top sorghum producing states are Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

You can find Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers on Twitter and Facebook! For more information visit: http://www.ksgrains.com/sorghum/

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