2015/2016 Sorghum Early Harvest Report


The U.S. Grains Council 2015/2016 Sorghum Early Harvest Quality Report and 2015/2016 Sorghum Harvest and Export Cargo Quality Report are designed to help international buyers of U.S. sorghum understand the quality of U.S. commodity sorghum as it enters the merchandising channel at harvest and as it is assembled for export early in the marketing year. These reports will provide representative information about quality levels and variability at the point of origination, either at harvest or at export. Inbound, unblended commodity samples are collected at local grain elevators for the harvest sampling, while export cargo samples of commodity sorghum are collected at key export areas. This 2015/2016 Early Harvest Report is based on 50 commodity sorghum samples taken from defined areas within the top 2015 sorghum-producing and exporting states that harvested sorghum in August and September, 2015. This report takes an early look at the quality of the 2015 sorghum crop and sets the foundation for the quality of the entire 2015 sorghum crop that will be reported in the 2015/2016 Sorghum Harvest and Export Cargo Quality Report.

The sample collection and testing, as well as the results reporting, of the sorghum harvest quality in the Early Harvest Report and Harvest and Export Cargo Report were modeled after the survey and report designs implemented for the U.S. Grains Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report. The sorghum harvest samples were proportionately stratifed according to Agricultural Statistical Districts (ASDs) across the key 2015 sorghum-producing states. This was to ensure a sound statistical sampling of the U.S. sorghum crop at the frst stage of the market channel.

The sorghum harvest samples were tested for the following quality factors:

  • Grade Factors: test weight, broken kernels and foreign material (BNFM), foreign material, total damage, and heat damage
  • Moisture
  • Chemical Composition: protein, starch, oil, and tannins
  • Physical Factors: kernel diameter, 1000-kernel weight, kernel volume, kernel true density, and kernel hardness index

Weighted averages and standard deviations following standard statistical techniques for proportionate stratifed sampling were calculated for each of the quality factors. The results from the 50 early harvest samples are reported as “Early Harvest” in the “Quality Test Results” section of this Early Harvest Report while the results of the entire 2015 sorghum harvest (“Early Harvest,” “Late Harvest,” and “U.S. Aggregate”) will be reported in the Harvest and Export Cargo Report.

Overall, this Early Harvest Report indicates the 2015 Early Harvest sorghum is entering the 2015/2016 market channel with average grade factor levels exceeding the standards for U.S. No. 1 grade sorghum. In addition, oil concentration was at the higher end of sorghum levels found in literature, no noticeable tannin levels were found among the 50 survey samples, and typical values were found for kernel volume, true density and kernel hardness. While these quality characteristics establish an early look at the quality of the 2015 U.S. sorghum crop, the quality reported in the Harvest and Export Cargo Report will reflect the quality of the entire 2015 crop. As sorghum quality from the Late Harvest area is surveyed, the impact of the environment, genetics and growing season conditions across both of the two harvest areas may alter the U.S. Aggregate averages from the Early Harvest averages.

Along with an evaluation of the quality of the entire 2015 sorghum crop and early exports, the 2015/2016 Sorghum Harvest and Export Cargo Quality Report will include an assessment of the crop and weather conditions during the 2015 growing season; U.S. sorghum production, usage and outlook; and detailed descriptions of survey and statistical analysis methods, and testing methods.

This frst year of sorghum 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 to make yearto-year comparisons and assess patterns of sorghum quality based on crop growing conditions across the years.