Sorghum Growers Sweet on Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

NSP Other crop producers are reaping the benefits of higher corn prices driven by ethanol. Among them are the sorghum farmers, who are meeting this week in New Mexico. Brownfield Network’s Peter Shinn reports that ethanol was the focus of Monday’s general session at the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) annual meeting.

NSP President Greg Shelor, a Kansas sorghum grower, told Brownfield that’s because ethanol is already increasing sorghum producer profitability. “On the ethanol, that’s real promising for another market for our grain sorghum because it’s interchangeable with corn in all these ethanol plants, so it just gives us another market and gets our price up there a lot closer to corn.” In fact, in some locations, sorghum is commanding a 10 to 15 cent per bushel to premium to corn, according to several growers in attendance here.

Two prominent national ethanol experts addressed sorghum growers Monday morning. One of them is Ethanol Promotion and Information Council Operations Director Robert White, who told Brownfield sorghum can do much to ease the concerns of those who are worried the ethanol industry may use too much corn.

“Corn’s not the only game in town,” White said. “We use sorghum today – that’s why we’re talking about ethanol here today.”

The other ethanol export to address Monday’s NSP general session was Dr. John Ashworth, Team Leader of Partnership Development for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Bioenergy Center in Golden, Colorado. He told sorghum growers their crop will play an even bigger role in ethanol production as cellulosic technologies are perfected.

Ethanol, News