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- Producers across the country will have an opportunity to vote to decide the fate of the Sorghum Checkoff Program between Feb. 1 through Feb. 28 of next year.
- Procedures for that referendum were recently finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and published in the Federal Register Nov. 18.
“I don’t expect to see Roundup Ready sorghum and I would be opposed to developing genetically modified sorghum. We already have enough resistance issues.”
Stewart says cold tolerance also makes sense for some growers. “With more cold tolerant varieties we could plant a little earlier in some locations,” he says.
Developing better adapted sweet sorghum varieties also holds promise for producers. “We have a pretty strong focus on sweet sorghum research,” he says. “Bio-ethanol from sweet sorghum has a lot of promise and could be more productive if we can increase biomass.”
Haigwood says checkoff funds also help promote the advantages and new uses for sorghum.
“We can use funds for research, producer education and promotion,” he says. “We can use these funds for just about anything but lobbying.”
He says high protein, low fat and gluten free traits make sorghum a more valuable commodity than many consumers realize. He says sorghum ethanol production is “about equal to corn. We just need to spread the word. We can use checkoff funds to help with that.”
Both Haigwood and Stewart say their 2010 crops were very good. “It was one of the best if not the best crop we’ve ever made,” Stewart says.
Haigwood says he made a good crop and the price was also attractive.
They hope research into better varieties, along with promotions touting the advantages of sorghum, will help them maintain productive yields and continue to boost demand and price.