News & Events
Sorghum: A Gluten-Free Whole Grain
Sorghum is recognized as an important farm crop in the United States and has expanded to become one of the top five crops grown worldwide.
Although sorghum has been predominately grown for livestock feed and ethanol production in the United States, it is mainly used for human food elsewhere in the world. This is partly because the crop can grow in harsh environments with drought conditions where other grains do not typically perform as well.
Whole grains – and the foods made from them – contain all essential parts of the grain seed. They have 100 percent of the original kernel, which includes the bran, germ and endosperm.
All three kernel layers must be intact to qualify as “whole grain.” Because these layers are complete, whole grains contain more nutrients than grains that have been stripped of the bran and germ layers through processing.
Wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, brown rice, bulgur, millet, quinoa and sorghum are grains commonly available in whole form.
Barley has been a long-time ingredient in animal feed rations and beer, a beverage enjoyed worldwide. But this ancient grain is also garnering attention by health professionals for its nutritional benefits for human health.
The second of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
The segment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/corncrop15.
Summer weather helped the U.S. corn crop get off to a good start this year in the Corn Belt. But some farmers in the Southwest who dealt with a wet spring continued to see wetter than average conditions.
When the need arises to apply chemicals to crops in the United States, not just anyone can do it. Pesticides, which include insecticides and herbicides, have both federal and local regulations governing private applicators.
Certifying agencies differ across the country, and the certification process differs from state to state, but all fall under the regulation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mark Seastrand, a barley farmer from North Dakota, officially finished his 2015 harvest at the end of August. Shortly after completion, Seastrand received reports back from the malters who purchased his barley on contract that they were pleased with both the quality and quantity of his crop.
On his farm, Seastrand also raises barley for seed production. In 2015, he planted a new variety, Genesis, developed by North Dakota State University.
Despite insect pressure on his central Kansas farm, sorghum farmer Adam Baldwin said his 2015 crop is on track to be his best yet.
“About a month ago, we scouted and came across sugarcane aphids in some of our fields,” Baldwin said.
Because of a research project conducted by Kansas State University (K-State), the aphids were detected early.
Throughout the growing season, farmers, market analysts and government officials all rely on estimates of corn growth phases as they make management and marketing decisions for the crop.
The Kansas State University Department of Agronomy identifies the two main growth stages of corn as vegetative and reproductive. The separation of these two stages is the appearance of silks and leads into the pollination period (R1).
Over the late summer and early fall months, Iowa corn farmer Greg Alber maintained a positive outlook for his 2015 crop. However, minor set backs included fungal disease and lack of moisture in his fields.
The U.S. Grains Council’s Grain News has followed three producers throughout 2015: Greg Alber, a corn farmer from Iowa; Adam Baldwin, a sorghum farmer from Kansas; and Mark Seastrand, a barley farmer from North Dakota. Each have shared their decision-making processes on their farms for planting, managing the growing season and now harvest.
As harvest approaches and these producers start to take the 2015 crop from the fields, they are keeping their eyes on the ever-changing market outlook, as well as evaluating their inputs for the current year and planning for 2016.