The proposed fiscal year 2004 budget provides $300,000 in new funding for research at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Plant Stress Laboratory at Lubbock, Texas, which would extend growing seasons for sorghum and provide increased profitability for sorghum producers by increasing cold tolerance through collaborative work in Texas, Kansas and Oregon.

Additionally, House appropriators recommended $400,000 for work on new end uses for sorghum at the ARS Grain Marketing Research Laboratory at Manhattan, Kan., which will be coordinated with related research in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Georgia and Texas.

The National Grain Sorghum Producers Association worked closely with House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, as well as former Rep. Larry Combest, R-Texas, and Reps. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.

“This is a good contribution to research efforts funded by producers through their checkoff as well as by private industry,” says Kenneth Rose, NGSP president from Keyes, Okla., adding that NGSP will continue to urge this important federal funding for the industry to round out a public/private/producer research partnership.

The Senate has put its deliberations on the agricultural appropriations bill on hold until after the August recess. Once it completes its bill, it will likely have to be resolved by a House-Senate Conference Committee.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com