More Fun Information About Sorghum

Today I’m sharing some more information about sorghum from the book Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains.

  • Like other cereal grains, sorghum is composed of three main parts: seed coat (pericarp), germ (embryo), and endosperm (storage tissue). The relative proportions vary, but most sorghum kernels are made up of 6 percent seed coat, 10 percent germ, and 84 percent endosperm.
  • In its chemical composition, the kernel (in its whole-grain form) is about 70 percent carbohydrate, 12 percent protein, 3 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and 1.5 percent ash. In other words, it hardly differs from whole-grain maize or wheat. When the seed coat and germ are separated to leave a stable flour (from the starchy endosperm), the chemical composition is about 83 percent carbohydrate, 12 percent protein, 0.6 percent fat, 1 percent fiber, and 0.4 percent ash.
  • For a plant with such a modest leaf area, sorghum’s roots are huge. This underground “survival tool” seeks out moisture deep in the soil, equipping the crop for good growth in semiarid climates. The resulting ability to yield grain under dry conditions makes sorghum a crucial tool in the fight against world hunger. (A.B. Maunder, courtesy DeKalb Plant Genetics)
  • Common Names For Sorghum:
    China: kaoliang
    Burma: shallu
    East Africa: mtama, shallu, feterita
    Egypt: durra
    England: chicken corn, guinea corn
    India: jola, jowar, jawa, cholam, durra, shallu, bisinga
    South Africa: Kafir corn
    Sudan: durra, feterita
    United States: sorghum, milo, sorgo, sudangrass
    West Africa: great millet, guinea corn, feterita
    Middle East: milo

And from the Sorghum Checkoff website:

  • In the United States, sorghum is grown primarily on dryland acres, with the Sorghum Belt stretching from South Dakota to Southern Texas. Sorghum is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. Approximately 7.7 million acres of sorghum were planted in 2007 in 21 states throughout the United States, making the United States the largest producer of sorghum.


Milo graphic

Milo says….

Maizy came back! I was SO excited I squeaked and wagged and wiggled and jumped! I just couldn’t help it because I didn’t think she would EVER come home. Now I’m going to sit in her lap forever so she can’t ever leave again! HAPPY! JOY!

2 thoughts on “More Fun Information About Sorghum

    • Yes, I think it’s fun to learn about where food comes from. I especially like that sorghum is grown in the USA and gives our farmers something to grow during those dry spells!

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