Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sorghum

Sorghum a member of the grass family like wheat, is of great agricultural importance in dry and arid lands. Its hundreds of varieties and many hybrids are generally classified into four groups, the grain sorghums use mainly for stock and poultry feed; the grass sorghums, used for hay and pasture; and syrup as well as hay and silage; and broomcom, whose fibers are used to make brooms. All sorghums have extensive branching root systems that provide exceptionally good resistance to drought and can witstand hotter climates that can other grain crops.

Sorghum has been a major crop in Africa since prehistoric times, although only one African country, Sudan, is a significant producer. The United States grows the langest crop, followed by India, China, and Mexico. Method of cultivating, harvesting and handling sorghum are similar to those used for other cereal crops. A self polinated annual planted in the spring, sorghum can reach height of 5 m. Seed color ranges from white to dark reddish brown.


In industrial countries sorghum is almost entirely a feed grain. It is ground and used with other grain for formula feeds. The fermentation industries use sorghum for brewing, distiling, and making industrial alcohol. Industrial uses of sorghum involve some wet and dry milling operations for starch and by products. Sorghum makes excellent pasture of livestock, as well as high quality silage. For human food, the kernels can be perched, popped or whole boiled. Ground or craked grain is made into flat, unleavened bread, porridge or paste.

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