Production and Exports
Sorghum (or milo) represents the third-largest cereal grain in the United States. Comparative advantages include drought tolerance; resistance to mycotoxins and fungi; and survivability in relatively harsher climatic conditions. Production is primarily focused in a stretch of land beginning in southern Nebraska and ending at the southern tip of Texas.
Chief importers in 2016/2017 were China, the largest market for U.S. sorghum with 4.8 million metric tons (189 million bushels) in purchases; Mexico, with 568,000 metric tons (22.4 million bushels) in sales; and Japan, which nearly doubled purchases of U.S. sorghum with 183,000 metric tons (7.19 million bushels), the highest levels since 2009/2010.
Thanks to continued purchasing by 22 countries, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 6.04 million metric tons (238 million bushels), a 30 percent drop year-over-year but still greater than the prior five-year average of 5.26 million metric tons (207 million bushels).
Sorghum Harvest Quality Report
In January 2017, the Council released the 2016/2017 Sorghum Harvest Quality Report. The Report assesses the quality of the current U.S. sorghum harvest as it enters international merchandizing channels.
This 2016/2017 Harvest Report is based on 254 commodity sorghum samples taken from defined areas within the nine top sorghum-producing states. Inbound, unblended samples were collected from local grain elevators to observe quality at the point of origin, and to provide representative information about the variability of the quality characteristics across the diverse geographic regions.
This second year of sorghum harvest quality data will lay the foundation for evaluating trends and the factors that impact sorghum quality. In addition, the cumulative measurement surveys will increase in value by enabling export buyers and other stakeholders to begin making year-to-year comparisons and assessing patterns in sorghum quality, based on growing, drying, handling, storage, and transport conditions.