1. Improved weed control

2. Cold and drought tolerance

3. Insect resistance

4. Improved sweet sorghums for ethanol

5. Promoting sorghum's significant advantages for feed and food uses.

Those are just some of the items at the top of the list sorghum producers hope to achieve from funds generated through a sorghum check-off that is scheduled for a vote between Feb. 1 through Feb. 28 of next year.

Producers across the country will have an opportunity to continue those efforts when they vote to decide the fate of the Sorghum Checkoff Program.

Procedures for that referendum were recently finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and published in the Federal Register Nov. 18. The referendum will be conducted at local Farm Service Agency offices. Those eligible to participate include any person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from July 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2010. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they have paid assessments.

Sorghum Checkoff is intended to be a national, coordinated, self-help marketing program designed to strengthen the position of sorghum in the marketplace, maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for sorghum, and develop new markets and uses for sorghum.