What does the Commission do?

The Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission invests sorghum passback dollars, substantially all of it from United Sorghum Checkoff Program. Kansas first-handlers are assessed 0.6 percent on market value, administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Kansas is a certified producer organization by USDA-AMS and participates through United Sorghum Checkoff Program. The state checkoff is currently suspended.

The areas of investment are:

  • Production and New Use research
  • Domestic Market Development
  • International Market Development
  • Promotion and Education

Who serves on the Commission?

Nine growers make up the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission. These growers represent each of the nine crop reporting districts in the state of Kansas.

Are commissioners elected or appointed?

Under legislation passed in 2000 designed to give growers more input into their commission representation, growers began directly electing commissioners in 2002. The Commission retains the ability to appoint commissioners when the need arises.

Who handles the Commission business?

The Commission employs multiple full-time staff members. The Executive Director of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission is Jesse McCurry. The Program Director is Maddy Meier. The address is Box 618, Colwich, KS 67030. Phone number is 785-477-9474.

What is the CSIP and Center for Sorghum Improvement?

K-State received directed funding through Congress for sorghum that established a strong Center for Sorghum Improvement. In recent years that entity has largely supported guest speakers and served as a clearinghouse function for sorghum activity across the university. Beginning April 1, 2016, the Commission, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, K-State, and others entered into a cooperative agreement to increase grain sorghum productivity and expand markets by 2025.

Coordinated efforts for the Collaborative Sorghum Investment Program (CSIP) operate through the Center for Sorghum Improvement at K-State, while results benefit sorghum producers throughout the country.

The program aims to increase the average national yield from 61.95 bushels per acre to 100 bushels per acre by 2025 by funding research in beneficial areas such as over-the-top grass control and yield improvements involving breeding program developments and field-level management techniques. Long-term research areas such as seed innovation and information management will also be addressed, including the development of new and novel genetic traits and the development of research and genomics databases.

The program works to develop marketplaces, attributes, qualities and other factors capable of increasing demand to 1.25 billion bushels of sorghum by 2025. This includes the expansion of international markets, domestic food use, livestock feeding, ethanol production, specialty products and more. In addition, CSIP develops tools, information and other factors in an effort to decrease the trading discount of sorghum to corn from 4.6 percent to 2 percent by 2025.

Support for this program will total $4.8 million, consisting of a $2 million investment from the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and $2 million from the Sorghum Checkoff, both made in annual payments of $200,000 for 10 years, as well as an $800,000 investment from K-State.