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K-State Research and Extension

Kansas leads the nation in sorghum production

What we are doing:

Ramsey PerumalSorghum contains more antioxidants than blueberries, chocolate and red wine, and Kansas leads the nation in grain sorghum production. The Center for Sorghum Improvement, based at K-State, brings together the expertise of researchers, growers, processors and other industry representatives from across the state and around the world to boost production and capitalize on the inherent benefits of this drought-tolerant crop. 

Our impact:

The center, led by Sarah Sexton Bowser, set goals in 2016 to boost the average U.S. sorghum yield through plant breeding and field-level management; increase demand; and decrease the price discount sorghum sells for in relation to corn.

Researchers, food processors and dieticians are looking for ways to use sorghum in U.S. diets to take advantage of sorghum being gluten-free and high in antioxidants.

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research in Sorghum and Millet was established at K-State in 2013 to explore ways to improve production systems and distribution chains to make sorghum and pearl millet the crops of the future.

“The No. 1 thing growers are using K-State Research and Extension for right now is those pop-up problems, like sugarcane aphids. The first call we’re going to make is to extension. That’s true if it’s an early freeze, a late freeze … any production issues we have throughout the season. That’s some of the best value we see.”

– Clayton Short, Saline County sorghum grower, Kansas Sorghum Commission vice chair and National Sorghum Checkoff Program secretary