The Sorghum Checkoff, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and Kansas State University are collaborating to increase grain sorghum productivity and expand sorghum markets by 2025.
"After more than a year of planning and orchestrating, the Collaborative Sorghum Investment Program is now a reality," said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director.
Beginning April 1, the Sorghum Checkoff, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and Kansas State University will enter a collaborate agreement to operate the Collaborative Sorghum Investment Program through the KSU Center for Sorghum Improvement.
"This program will serve as a platform aimed at reaching the Sorghum Checkoff's mission of investing checkoff dollars to increase producer profitability and enhance the sorghum industry,” Lopez said. “This program helps by aligning many resources to meet the needs of sorghum farmers throughout the U.S."
"This agreement will provide a valuable investment in long-term sorghum research," said Stephen Bigge, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission chairman. "Sorghum producers will benefit from the advancement of sorghum technology for many years to come."
"We look forward to implementing this agreement to the benefit of the entire sorghum industry," said John Floros, KSU Dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. "We are pleased to leverage our resources with this new program."
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 KSU.
The resources will be used to hire a managing director of the program in Manhattan, Kansas, provide capital for center activities and research funding, and build the Center for Sorghum Improvement Excellence Fund for long-term support of sorghum initiatives.
The program lays out several goals for sorghum over the next decade.
-Increase the average national sorghum yield from 61.95 bushels per acre to 100 bushels per acre.
-Fund short- and long-term research into areas such as over-the-top grass control, seed innovative and the development of genomics databases.
-Develop marketplaces, attributes, qualities and other factors capable of increasing demand to 1.25 million bushels of sorghum.
-Develop tools and information to decrease the trading discount of sorghum to corn from 4.6% to 2%.
The managing director, overseen by an advisory committee, will seek additional project funds to extend the program beyond 2025.
Source: Sorghum Checkoff