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Sorghum's Rise - A new crop champion?
USAgNet - 03/01/2024

In the ever-evolving world of agriculture, sorghum is stepping into the spotlight. With global events and weather patterns affecting crop supplies, sorghum's stock is rising due to its strong demand, particularly for exports, and its low ending stocks.

The United States, a leading sorghum producer, has seen a significant jump in sorghum exports, doubling from 109 million bushels to 240 million bushels in just one year. China's appetite for US sorghum has been a key driver of this demand. As a result, ending stocks of sorghum are at an all-time low, signaling a need for more sorghum acres.

Sorghum's resilience to drought conditions makes it an attractive option for farmers, especially in states like Kansas, Texas, and Nebraska, where dry soil is a growing concern. This adaptability, coupled with lower corn prices and firm demand for sorghum, poses a question: will sorghum acreage increase at the expense of corn?

The 2023/24 planting season saw 7.2 million acres dedicated to sorghum. Given the crop's advantages, this number could rise as farmers look to capitalize on the demand and environmental conditions favoring sorghum. The shift could impact traditional corn acres, especially in the Southern Plains, where drought is a significant factor.

As the planting season approaches, the agricultural community is keenly watching how these dynamics will unfold. Will sorghum's benefits lead to a notable change in the US cropping landscape? Only time will tell, but the current trends suggest sorghum may indeed be a crop to watch in 2024.

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