Sorghum—a grain, forage or sugar crop—is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water.
Sorghum—a grain, forage or sugar crop—is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. It is known as a high-energy, drought-tolerant crop, but is rarely referred to as a “yield-busting” crop. That’s all about to change. In 2015, there were 21 sorghum-producing states that planted approximately 8.5 million acres across the United States. This year, these three growers are accepting the challenge of pushing yields and raising the bar on their sorghum fields. “We know the high yield potential is there, it’s just going to take some intensive management to really draw it out of that plant,” said Tim Fisher of Wynne, Arkansas.
In the U.S., grain sorghum has traditionally been used for livestock feed and ethanol production. Sorghum produces the same amount of ethanol per bushel as comparable feedstocks and uses one-third less water. In the livestock market, sorghum is used in the poultry, beef and pork industries. Stems and foliage are used for green chop, hay, silage and pasture. A significant amount of U.S. sorghum is also exported to international markets where it is used for animal feed and ethanol, among other things. Sorghum is gaining popularity in food products in the U.S. because of its gluten-free and non-GMO properties. Sorghum is an excellent substitute for wheat, rye and barley for those who cannot tolerate gluten in their diets.