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Department of Agronomy

Grain Sorghum

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Sorghum is a very versatile crop; it can be grown as a grain, forage, or sweet crop. Sorghum is a high-energy, drought tolerant crop and is better adapted to be grown on marginal lands than other agronomic crops. Given its drought tolerance, sorghum is grown primarily as a dryland crop.

Worldwide, sorghum is ranked in the top 5 for cereal grains in production and acreage. The U.S. is the world’s largest grain sorghum producer and Kansas ranked as the top sorghum-producing state in 2018. The “Sorghum Belt” extends from South Dakota through Kansas and down to southern Texas.

In the U.S., grain sorghum is used mostly as livestock feed and to produce ethanol. It produces the same amount of ethanol per bushel as comparable feedstocks while using 1/3 less water. The use of sorghum as a bioenergy crop has increased dramatically in recent years with up to 1/3 of the U.S. sorghum crop going into ethanol production. The use of sorghum in U.S. food production is growing due to its status as a gluten-free product.

“Because of its versatility and adaptation, sorghum is one of the really indispensable crops required for the survival of humankind.” – Jack Harlan, 1971

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Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti
Associate Professor
Crop Production and Cropping Systems
Email Dr. Ciampitti

Ph: +1-785-532-6940

Dr. Stewart Duncan
Professor
Northeast Area Extension Agronomist
Email Dr. Duncan

Ph: +1-785-532-5833

Dr. Lucas Haag
Associate Professor
N.W. Area Extension Agronomist
Email Dr. Haag

Ph: +1-785-462-6281

Dr. John Holman
Cropping Systems Agronomist
Email Dr. Holman

Ph: +1-620-276-8286