Murphy-Brown began an initiative for farmers to grow grain sorghum in 2012, and many producers jumped on that bandwagon, creating an explosion of sorts of the crop. Joe Szaloky, VP of procurement, strategic planning and business development at Murphy-Brown LLC talks about the future of grain sorghum in the Carolinas:
“This is the beginning of what we think is big potential for grain sorghum in NC. This is a long project that we have embarked on and we are no where near where we want to be. It will be several years that we keep working and finding better ways to handle the grain.
This year the limitation is seed. Going forward it will be economics. We expect farmers to grow what makes the most sense. Some of sorghum’s initial attractiveness is a change in pace. We will have to figure out ways that farmers can make a lot of money growing sorghum and use sorghum as a tool to make money growing other crops.
We offer contracts for anything as far out as farmers want to go. When we started it, there was concern about would there be anyone to sell the sorghum to. We work hard to be a very easy company to market your grain to.
We also offer cash spot and are working hard to get better at buying spot. Most of our farmers we want to have a relationship and we have their grain sold well before its harvested. But we will certainly buy every bit of sorghum that we can on the spot. I think we had one load out of the 2.5 million bushels we bought that was rejected, because it was 70% moisture and was zero test weight.
For 2013 we have the challenge of the availability of seed. We are looking to pick up some acres from some cotton growers. But we want growers to feel confident that there will be seed for them as they make their plans now.”
For more comments from Joe Szaloky and the Joint Commodities Conference, click here