The USDA has announced that the United Sorghum Checkoff Program referendum passed with a majority consensus and the Sorghum Checkoff will remain in operation. The referendum was required by the Commodity Research, Promotion and Information Act of 1996, which established the program. Gerald Simonsen, National Sorghum Producers chairman and sorghum farmer from Ruskin, Neb., proclaimed the results as a huge win for the industry and sorghum farmers across the nation.
"The NSP board recognized a need three years ago for improvement in the sorghum industry in the areas of market development, research and education," Simonsen said. "We developed a vision, worked with USDA to create the program and are proud of the results the Sorghum Checkoff has produced in its two short years of operation."
Of the more than 1,200 ballots cast, 76.2% voted to continue the program. The goal of the program is to strengthen the position and to develop and expand the markets for sorghum and sorghum products. The assessment for grain sorghum is 0.6% of net market value and 0.35% of net market value for sorghum forage, sorghum hay, sorghum haylage, sorghum billets and sorghum silage. Although limited, imports of sorghum and sorghum products are also assessed.
More information on the Sorghum Checkoff can be found online at www.sorghumcheckoff.com.