Sorghum producers received positive news last week, as a resoundingly favorable vote on the sorghum checkoff referendum assures the industry can continue to back aggressive export market development programs.

News of the successful referendum came as U.S. Grains Council staff and consultants were on a “reverse mission” in Spain and Portugal to capitalize on progress made in January when an Iberian buyers team visited Kansas and Texas to explore U.S. sorghum production.

The visit, organized in partnership with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), exposed representatives of 12 large grain-using entities, including swine, poultry and beef producers, to the advantages of using U.S. sorghum.

“We’ve got several objectives with this reverse mission,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC regional director for Mediterranean and Africa. “We want to follow up with the buyers team, but we will also meet with current sorghum users and with millers who are not yet incorporating sorghum in their feed.”

The schedule included outreach in northwest Spain, where importers have the least experience using sorghum. There, the Council’s sorghum feeding seminar attracted 26 feed ingredient companies and buyers, and the Council team was present to watch 35,000 metric tons (1.4 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum being unloaded at the port of Marin — one of two 35,000 ton purchases made since January by a Spanish member of the team.