Corn may have competition for ethanol use from less expensive sorghum.
According to a survey by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), 29 percent of the grain sorghum grown in the United States this year will be used to produce ethanol – a total of nearly 137 million bushels.
“In the past year, the price differential has greatly benefited the bottom line of ethanol plants using sorghum as a feedstock,” said USCP Board Chairman, Bill Greving. “This means that the use of sorghum by ethanol plants has influenced the increased demand for sorghum in these areas where ethanol plants are co-located with sorghum production.”
According to the survey, ethanol plants in areas where sorghum is grown prefer to use sorghum because of its availability and favorable price differential. It also suggests if grain prices jump like they did during 2007, 2008 and early 2009, demand for sorghum will increase dramatically, which will mean even more sorghum could be used in ethanol blends. Better yet, sorghum for grain-based ethanol production qualifies as an advanced biofuel feedstock.