Crop revenue coverage still fails to reflect projected, current and recent price relationships between sorghum and corn, they said. Instead, the announced price election of $2.43 per bushel for sorghum is only 96 percent of the corn price election, which was set at $2.53.

Year Corn Price Sorghum Price Corn CRC Sorghum CRC
2000 $1.85 $1.89 $2.22 $2.11
2001 $1.97 $1.94 $2.44 $2.32
2002 $2.30 $2.35 $2.29 $2.18
2003 $2.20 $2.20 $2.42 $2.30
2004 $2.32 $2.32 $2.53 $2.43

While an improvement over the 95 percent relationship of the past, price data published by USDA runs contrary to even this latest 96 percent price election relationship for sorghum, the NGSP said. Averaged over the last 3 years, the price of grain sorghum was just higher than that for corn, according to the annual USDA Crop Values Report released in late February 2003.

According to the USDA report, the price for grain sorghum averaged over the last three years was $2.08 per bushel, just above $2.06 per bushel for corn during the same period.

Additionally, in its most recent monthly Feed Outlook report, the agency projected that by the end of the 2002/2003 marketing year, prices received by farmers for sorghum, forecast at $2.32 per bushel, would be equal with corn. Additionally, USDA also predicts that prices for sorghum in 2003/2004 will be 5 cents above corn.

“While we’re glad to see some progress in this area, USDA’s price election calculations still fail to address the discrepancy between current real world value and the value that is being determined under antiquated and obsolete historical data,” says Tim Lust, NGSP executive director.

He said NGSP will continue working to address the inequities so that producers’ planting decisions will no longer be distorted by USDA policy.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com