General Sorghum


U.S. grain sorghum production in 2012 increased to 246.9 million bushels, up 15 percent from 2011. Production more than doubled in Texas, a leading producer, but continued to drop in Kansas, another leading producer, because of persistent drought conditions. The value of the U.S. grain sorghum crop was $1.6 billion.  (NASS 2013)

Sorghum is grown commercially in 14 states. Historically, Kansas and Texas have been the top two sorghum-producing states. In 2012, the two states retained their ranking as leading producers but switched positions. Texas produced 112.1 million bushels valued at $703.1 million, while Kansas produced 81.9 million bushels valued at $582.5 million. Other states producing large quantities of grain sorghum include Louisiana, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Nebraska.  (NASS 2013)  June 2013 . . . General Sorghum




  • The Economics of Ethanol from Sweet Sorghum Using the MixAlco Process, Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Texas A&M University, 2006 - This research report discusses the conversion of biomass to renewable fuels, more specifically, using sweet sorghum as an ethanol fuel stock.
  • Ethanol in California: a Feasibility Framework, 2004 - An analysis of what it would take to develop a local ethanol supply based on food processing waste from California's multi-billion dollar agricultural industry. The study was funded by a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant administered by the Great Valley Center.
  • Examples of Other Sweet Sorghum Renewable Energy Projects, AgriFuelsAustralia.
  • Feeding the Concrete Cow, Rural Cooperatives, Rural Development, USDA, 2009 - Dryland forage sorghum will fuel a biomass plant under construction in Leona, Texas. The Mustang Creek Biofuel Plant will be the first in the United States to use sorghum to generate a sustainable supply of electricity.
  • ICRISAT sorghum for ethanol now a sweet reality, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), 2007 - Researchers at ICRISAT have developed a sweet sorghum for the production of ethanol. The new variety has a very high sugar content in its root. Average yields were considerably higher than those of sugarcane.
  • Potential for Sweet Sorghum Ethanol is Very Sweet, Indeed,, 2009.
  • Sorghum: A Biofuel Alternative?, Voice of America (VOA) video, YouTube, 2008 - This report features sorghum, a biofuel alternative to corn.
  • Sorghum Syrup, ATTRA, NCAT, 2003 - This publication discusses some of the equipment and facilities that can be used in sorghum syrup production.
  • Sweet Sorghum: A New Smart Biofuel Crop, Agriculture Business Week, 2008.
  • Sweet Sorghum: A renewable energy feedstock, AgriFuelAustralia, 2008 - This slide presentation was delivered at the Bioenergy Australia 2008 Conference.
  • Sweet Sorghum Ethanol Association.
  • Sweet Sorghum for Biofuel, Delta Research Center, University of Missouri, YouTube, 2009 - Researchers are studying ways to boost the plant's potential to create biofuel.
  • Sweet Sorghum into Ethanol, University of Arizona, YouTube, 2009 - Experts at the University of Arizona are exploring ways to breed and cultivate different varieties of sweet sorghum and turn its sugar into ethanol.
  • Sweet Sorghum Syrup Production, University of Kentucky, 2006 - This DVD, available for $15.00, reviews all aspects of producing a sweet sorghum crop.
  • Sweet Sorghum Training Manual, FAO, United Nations, 2005 - One chapter of this manual discusses the liquid fermentation of sorghum stalks to produce ethanol.

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Maasdam Sorghum Mills, Lynnville, Iowa - This family business has processed sorghum since 1926. A steam engine powers the mill and augers. They can produce 600 gallons of sweet sorghum a day during September.
  • Nu Life Market, Scott City, Kansas - This company is dedicated to providing a selection of sorghum grains, flours and brans that are all processed in a gluten-free, dairy-free and peanut-free facility.
  • Twin Valley Mills, Ruskin, Nebraska - This small mill owned and operated by three grain sorghum producers converts food-grade sorghum into grain sorghum flour.

Links checked November 2013.