Sorghum Is Getting the Word Out

Kansas Viewpoint

Workers for sorghum checkoff working hard to make their case to producers and media

Published on: October 20, 2010
I spent a pleasant hour this afternoon visiting with three representatives of the grain sorghum industry, two from the relatively new sorghum checkoff and one from the National Sorghum Producers Association.

Sorghum is a well-known crop in Kansas, the nation's top producer of the versatile grain. It is much less well known in other parts of the country and commands a small share of the acres that could be planted nationwide.

Historically, that very lack of numbers has contributed to a shortage of research for things like higher-yielding varieties and effective post-emergent herbicides to control weeds.

The checkoff aims to change that, pouring money into research and marketing and to tell the world the value of sorghum.

It's a message that's way overdue and it's commendable that the people tasked with getting the word out are taking their job seriously and putting a real effort into making it happen.

The future is looking bright for sorghum, which includes the grain commonly called milo and used as livestock feed and an ethanol feedstock in Kansas as well as lesser known strains such as sweet sorghum, forage sorghum and food-grade sorghum.

Farmers in Kansas stand to benefit from that bright future. Help spread the word.