January 05, 2008
Grain Sorghum-it's also called milo. Kansas producers grow over 40 percent of the nation's grain sorghum every year. Kansas is the nation's leading producer of grain sorghum, producing 145 million bushels of sorghum in 2006--45 percent of the nation's crop. Total US sorghum production was 278 million bushels. Kansas growers value grain sorghum because it is well suited to perform well in many types of soils and weather. Kansas is a diverse state with soils ranging from sandy to clay to loam, and with summertime weather patterns ranging from hot and humid in the east to hot and dry in the west. With these varying weather and soil conditions throughout Kansas, grain sorghum is a crop that Kansas farmers can depend on.
Most of the grain sorghum produced in Kansas is used as livestock feed. However, the market is expanding with new uses including the production of ethanol, a clean burning fuel for automobiles and starch based biodegradable products like packaging materials. In Kansas, grain sorghum used at the seven Kansas ethanol plants located in Campus, Atchison, Garden City, Colwich, Leoti, Garnett and Russell. The byproduct of ethanol production is distillers' grain, which is valued as a high-nutrient livestock feed. Interest is also growing among consumers who are interested in reaping the benefits of adding nutritious food grade grain sorghum to their diets.
Grain sorghum ethanol also produces distillers grains. Grain sorghum will also be expanded in use at some of the new Texas ethanol plants that will come online the first quarter of this year.