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4 Facts About Sorghum

This grass crop is widely adapted to diverse environments.

A few years ago, high corn prices pushed this widely grown grass crop into traditional sorghum growing areas.

However, receding corn prices are causing farmers in these areas to reconsider sorghum, another grass crop that’s grown worldwide. Here are four sorghum facts, courtesy of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The Danforth Center has a number of sorghum initiatives, particularly in bioenergy.

  • Most varieties of this worldwide grass crop tolerate both drought and heat. Its adaptability to diverse environments, low fertilizer requirements, high biomass potential, and compatibility with row-crop production are prompting it to become a leading U.S. bioenergy crop, say Danforth Center officials.
  • The new sorghum bioenergy belt will span east Texas, the Mississippi Valley, the Gulf Coast, and the southern Atlantic Coast.
  • In the U.S. in 2016, 6,456,000 acres of sorghum were harvested for grain, according to USDA.
  • Many of the world’s most food-insecure people depend on sorghum as their main food source. That’s especially true in Africa, where sorghum originated.
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