The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture published a final order Tuesday on the proposed national sorghum checkoff and will begin collecting assessments on July 1, 2008. The Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information order will collect 0.6% of net market value for grain sorghum. For sorghum forage such as hay and silage, the assessment will be 0.35% of market value and will only be collected from first handlers who purchase more than 5,000 tons per year.
Lloyd C. Day, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, said now that a final order has been published, a certification process will begin for organizations to become eligible to put forward names for the National Sorghum Checkoff Board. "USDA will then start accepting board nominations from these organizations and the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint directors to serve on the National Sorghum Checkoff Board," he said.
National Sorghum Producers President Dale Murden said a checkoff will play an important role in the sorghum industry's future. "Now is the time to invest in sorghum," said Murden. "A National Sorghum Checkoff will leverage private industry investment while partnerships with public and private research and development operations will help bring technology to our fields."