Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of the sorghum grass whose
stalks have a high sugar content.
Sweet sorghum thrives better under
drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown
primarily for forage, silage, and syrup production. Although, in most
of the United States the term molasses refers to a sweet syrup, made
as a byproduct of sugarcane or sugar beet sugar extraction, sweet
sorghum syrup is known as "sorghum molasses" in some regions of the
3 See also
5 External links
Sweet sorghum has been widely cultivated in the U.S. since the 1850s
for use in sweeteners, primarily in the form of sorghum syrup. By the
early 1900s, the U.S. produced 20 million US gallons
(76,000 m3) of sweet sorghum syrup annually. Making syrup from
sorghum (as from sugar cane) is heavily labor-intensive. Following
World War II, with the declining availability of farm labor, sorghum
syrup production fell drastically. Currently, less than 1 million
US gallons (3,800 m3) are produced annually in the U.S.
India it was introduced in the early 1970s by Nimbkar Agricultural
Research Institute.  Presently it is grown on large area as a
Most sorghum grown for syrup production is grown in Alabama, Arkansas,
Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and
Horse-driven, antique sorghum-cane juicer being operated at an organic
farm in central North Carolina, for syrup production
Adding freshly squeezed juice to a simmering pan of syrup on an open
fire, much as it was done in the 19th century
Madhura sweet sorghum syrup sold in India
Sorghum syrup and hot biscuits are a traditional breakfast in the
Southern United States. Sorghum syrup is also used on pancakes,
cornmeal mush, grits and other hot cereals. It can be used as a
cooking ingredient with a similar sweetening effect as molasses,
though blackstrap molasses still has a higher nutritional value than
sorghum syrup in most regards. In
India sweet sorghum syrup is
presently being promoted as a health food.
In the U.S. since the 1950s, sorghum has been raised primarily for
forage and silage, with sorghum cultivation for cattle feed
concentrated in the
Great Plains (Texas, Kansas, and
Nebraska are the
leading producers) where insufficient rainfall and high temperature
make corn production unprofitable.
Grain sorghum has also been used by the ethanol industry for quite
some time because it yields about the same amount of ethanol per
bushel as corn. As new-generation ethanol processes are studied and
improved, sorghum's role may continue to expand.
University ran trials to ascertain the best varieties for ethanol
production from sorghum leaves and stalks in the USA.
India and other places, sweet sorghum stalks are used for producing
biofuel by squeezing the juice and then fermenting into ethanol.
The crop is particularly suitable for growing in dryland conditions,
as it only extracts one-seventh of the water used by sugarcane.
A study by researchers at the International Crops Research Institute
for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) found that growing sweet sorghum
instead of grain sorghum could increase farmers' incomes by US$40 per
hectare per crop because it can provide food, feed, and fuel. With
grain sorghum currently grown on over 11 million ha in Asia and on
23.4 million ha in Africa, a switch to sweet sorghum could have a
considerable economic impact.
Camp Sorghum, historical use of sorghum molasses
^ Rapuano, Rina. "Sorghum Travels From The South To The Mainstream."
NPR. NPR, 12 Sept. 2012. Web. 22 May 2014.
^ Bitzer, Morris. Sweet Sorghum for Syrup. Publication. N.p.: U of
Kentucky, 2002. Web. 22 May 2014.
^ Curtin, Leo V. MOLASSES - GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. Publication.
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida,
n.d. Web. 22 May 2014.
^ Ventilated. "Guidance on Sorghum Production – March 19, 2008."
Indiana State Department of Health Division of Consumer Protection
Food Protection Program Guidance on Sorghum Production – March 19,
2008 (2008): 1-6. IN.gov. Indiana State Department of Health: Division
of Consumer Protection: Food Protection Program, 19 Mar. 2008. Web. 22
^ "Sorghum Syrup". Spiritfoods. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
^ syrup from sweet sorghum will be next health food
Sweet sorghum – Opportunities for a new renewable fuel and food
industry in Australia". RIRDC. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
^ Ceres and
Texas A&M to Develop and Market High-Biomass Sorghum
for Biofuels Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Sweet Sorghum : A New "Smart Biofuel Crop"". Agriculture
Business Week. 30 June 2008. Archived from the original on 27 May
^ "Icrisat embarks on biofuels initiative for dryland farmers".
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
(ICRISAT). Mar 14, 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
Sweet sorghum for food, feed and fuel Archived 2015-09-04 at the
Wayback Machine. New Agriculturalist, January 2008.
National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association
Ethanol Association (SSEA)
List of Sweet Sorghum Renewable Energy Projects
Report on small-scale sweet sorghum product