Grain sorghum (Milo), not to be confused with sweet sorghum, is interchangeable in starch based bio-ethanol production. A bushel of grain sorghum produces as much bio-ethanol as a bushel of corn. Sorghum Distillers Dry Grain (“DDG”), a co-product of starch-based bio-ethanol production, tend to be lower in fat and higher in protein than corn DDG.
Sorghum is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water. Under drought conditions a crop of corn may fail, while sorghum almost always produces a crop.
WHY IS THE U.S. PRODUCTION OF BIO-FUEL BASED ON CORN AND NOT IN SORGHUM?
While the cost of farming an acre of sorghum is lower than an acre of corn (less water and less fertilizers needed), the yields are dramatically different. One acre of corn in the Midwest will yield circa 160-170 bushels per acre while sorghum produces 70-80 bushels per acre.
CHANGE IS ON THE WAY
Based on research at the USDA Agricultural Research Center, a new MULTISEED TRAIT variety of sorghum could boost sorghum yield by 60%, making it competitive with corn yields, using half the water.
The development of a new sorghum hybrid requires from 10 to 12 generations of seed production. Multiseed Hybrids may be commercially available to farmers by 2020.
The multiseed trait is not genetically modified but originates from crosses of thousands of experimental hybrids.
Several commercial seed companies have attained the multiseed trait and are in various stages of working their trait into their own elite seed hybrids.
On March 2, professor Doreen Ware, Ph.d together with professor Zhanguo Xin, Ph.d, USDA’s Agricultural Research Center, announced that the team has uncovered the biological changes that triple the sorghum grain producing ability. They hope to apply the same strategy to other related crops vital to the human food supply such as rice, corn and wheat.
The company has been following the progress of the multiseed trait in sorghum, and our bio-fuel plant’s design, anticipates the use of multi-feedstocks such as corn and sorghum without cross contamination.
For additional information, please contact the company.