A fair shake. That's all Bill Kubecka, president of the Texas Grain Sorghum Association and a director for the National Grain Sorghum Association, wants for his commodity.

“We need to be treated fairly with loan rates,” he said, during the recent Texas Commodity Symposium in Amarillo.

He's also hopeful that a $1.56 million appropriations bill will help grain sorghum catch up with other grain funding.

“Federal funding for grain sorghum has lagged behind other commodities,” he said.

Part of the funds included in the bill would help fund drought tolerance research projects at the stress lab in Lubbock. “We also want to fund projects to increase end use for grain sorghum, look at insect resistance and water efficiency.”

Kubecka said grain sorghum markets show signs of recovery. “Use is up 29 percent in industrial seed and food uses,” he said. “We've also seen increased use for ethanol and flour for cookies and snack foods. We want to create a major presence in food, feed and industrial markets.”

The overall goal, he said, “is to increase the price for gain sorghum as we develop new uses.”

Kubecka said commodity associations have demonstrated improved cooperation to get their voices heard during the farm bill debate.

“More commodity groups worked closer together for this farm bill than they did in 1996,” he said. “To get anything done, we have to cross boundaries and work together. Wheat, rice, and cotton, for instance, are pretty powerful groups.”

rsmith@premediabusiness.com