With strong demand for grain sorghum in 2020, producers saw record prices throughout the sorghum belt, according to the Sorghum Checkoff’s Regional Director for Kansas, Zack Simon, as he writes in the latest edition of NSPs Sorghum Grower Magazine.
As Simon says, historical data shows prices flatten or decrease as farmers bring in the harvest each fall. But this past year was surprising. Basis moved up this summer, as the sorghum harvest in South Texas began and basis continued its upward climb, as harvest progressed North and the Kansas. In fact, sorghum basis made the jump from even, or slightly negative in early spring, to plus 200 at the end of 2020. Driving this demand was the return of China’s hog population after the hog was decimated in 2018 by illness. China’s 2021 import needs for coarse grains could be double the amount imported last year with pork production back online. Here at home, familiar risks to production still remain, such as weather and pest pressure. Thankfully, you can manage these risks with the right approach.
Some steps that Simon outlines include, setting up a production budget, developing a grain marketing strategy, and sticking to the plan. Producers should prepare right away, however, and may be interested in Kansas State University’s self-paced online course, Finances and the Farm, designed to enhance your farm management skills, credit for which can also fulfill FSA borrowers requirements. Find more information on that course and much more at ksgrainsorghum.org and be sure to subscribe and listen to the latest episodes of the Sorghum State Podcast, wherever you choose to listen.