Ethanol plant construction is picking up in the Sorghum Belt and has the
potential to make a significant impact on local sorghum markets in areas such as
Western Kansas, the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. Already, 15% of the U.S.
sorghum crop goes into this market and in Kansas, more ethanol is produced from
grain sorghum than from corn. NSP staff estimates that more than 85% of Kansas
sorghum production is in a county within 50 miles of either an existing or
proposed ethanol plant. The national average is more than 60%. Sorghum and corn
are interchangeable in the making of ethanol and yield approximately the same
amount of ethanol per bushel. NSP staff continues to meet with ethanol,
government, transportation, handling and livestock feeding industry leaders
across the Sorghum Belt to discuss these market changes and to offer
Not surprsingly one the main areas of focus for the proposed check off dollars is research to improve yield and to provide growers with more weed control options. It will be interesting to watch the amount of sorghum acres planted as increased pressure from corn acres takes place.