Sorghum is a grain originating from Africa where, in the past, was often part of the human diet. It is today the basis for traditional village beer in the drier parts of Africa.
The plant is a warm weather crop, which can produce several seed heads from a single planted seed. After harvesting, it can often be ratooned to produce a 2nd harvest from the original planting.
The grains nutritional value is similar to barley and wheat, often with 9 -12% protein, but it tends to be “considered” inferior in digestibility and animal weight gain properties compared to wheat and barley.
The crop cycle from planting to harvest is 85-100 days, and yield in fertile soil can get to 5 -6 tonnes per hectare. It tends to tolerate periods of dry weather better than many other crops, but this is not surprising considering its African origin. Insect pests and disease can influence yield, and breeding of improved varieties has been undertaken for over 80 years to find improved productivity.
The world grows a lot of sorghum for stockfeed and it is a major product exported and imported to many countries.