Sorghum Fun Fact
Kansas is the largest grain sorghum producing state in the U.S.
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is working to enhance the usability of sorghum in industries that reach beyond the traditional markets. In the U.S., Sorghum Checkoff-funded research opportunities are looking at sorghum’s potential to fight cancer, high cholesterol and obesity. At the same time, sorghum is high in antioxidants and gluten free. It is a versatile product for individuals living with Celiac disease, an intolerance to gluten which is found in products like wheat and barley.
The pet food industry already uses sorghum because of its low glycemic index which helps it to control diabetes in companion animals. Sorghum is used in florals, birdseed and deer feeders. Around the world, sorghum is already used for building materials like fencing, a plywood-like product and as a binder in wallboard.
The Sorghum Checkoff will continue working on behalf of sorghum producers to encourage new and exciting markets for this crop.
While there are currently no commercialized green chemical products made from sorghum on the market, research has proven sorghum can have tremendous potential in meeting demand for environmentally friendly products. By funding research and market development projects, the Sorghum Checkoff hopes to increase sorghum’s use in green chemicals and demand for U.S. sorghum.
“By separating the various projects of the renewables program the Sorghum Checkoff can more efficiently fund and manage these projects,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “Through research and promotion of these renewables markets, the Sorghum Checkoff hopes to increase the demand for sorghum and profitability for sorghum producers,” Lopez said.
There are industries beginning to utilize sorghum, where it hasn’t been used before. The growing list includes:
- Packing peanuts
- Millers and bakers
Check out the Sorghum Connections Directory to connect with producers, manufacturers and users of sorghum.