Act and Order
Sorghum Promotion and Research Program
The Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information Program, commonly known as the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, was established under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (Act). The Act authorizes generic promotion, research and information orders aimed at advancing the demand for agricultural commodities to benefit U.S. producers and consumers. On May 6, 2008, the Agricultural Marketing Service published a final Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information Order after public notice and comment. The Order became effective May 7, 2008. The collection of assessments began on July 1, 2008.
The program is funded by an assessment of 0.6 percent of the net market value of grain sorghum and 0.35 percent of the net market value of sorghum forage, silage, hay, haylage and billets. All producers marketing sorghum in any form must pay the assessment. First purchasers of grain and forage sorghum collect and remit assessments. Imports of sorghum are also assessed.
The program is designed to increase profitability for U.S. sorghum producers. Currently, the board sees productivity, demand and value enhancements as the key to increasing producer profitability.
The Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information Board, also known as the Sorghum Checkoff board of directors, is comprised of 13 sorghum producers. Membership includes five seats for the largest production state, three seats for the second largest, and one seat for the third largest state. The board also consists of four at-large national positions. No state is allowed more than six seats. Read more about how to become a board director.
Nine state-level checkoff programs currently exist for sorghum. The order indicates that between 15 and 25 percent of each state's total assessments collected annually are to be returned to qualified state programs for promotion and research activities. These qualified state programs are certified by the Secretary of Agriculture.
According to USDA data, the top five grain sorghum producing states account for 89 percent of total U.S. acres planted. Total U.S. production of grain sorghum in 2015 was 597 million bushels. The top sorghum producing states are Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.