Investment in Checkoff Funds Makes a Big Difference for Forage Sorghum Growers

When grain sorghum producers sell their crop at the local elevator or other marketplaces, they pay an assessment of 0.6 percent of the net market value to help invest in expanding and maintaining demand as well as putting money toward advancements in research. While this is commonplace for grain sorghum producers, many may not know that an assessment is collected on forage sorghum, as well.

“Assessment dollars are collected by the first purchaser when a sorghum producer sells their forage,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “Examples could include livestock and dairy operations.”

Forage sorghum collection occurs on sold sorghum forage, sorghum hay, sorghum haylage, sorghum billets and sorghum silage. Lopez said forage sorghum is assessed at a rate of 0.35 percent of the net market value received by the producer. Forage sorghum utilized within an operation is exempt.

“Often, forage sorghum is grown and utilized by the same individual or entity, such as a dairy,” Lopez said. “In this instance, the forage is exempt from the assessment because collection only occurs on forages sold. This can mislead growers to think all forage is exempt from the assessment.”

An investment in the Sorghum Checkoff can make a big difference in the industry. As a producer-funded organization, Lopez said the Sorghum Checkoff is committed to efficiently investing grower dollars with the goal of increasing producer profitability. Assessments put new money into research for development of sorghum genetics, disease and insect resistance, cold and drought tolerance and other defensive traits.

A focus on forage market development helps expand the industry through targeted research investigating topics like digestibility for livestock feed. Checkoff funds are also used to generate educational information to help producers learn about the latest advances in sorghum production, such as the checkoff forage sorghum production guides.

“Paying forage sorghum assessments is very much an investment,” Lopez said. “Through the checkoff’s research, promotion and education that helps move the needle, more productivity and demand for sorghum will ultimately give forage sorghum growers the best return on their investment.”