Sorghum production rises to meet demand

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Sorghum production rises to meet demand

U.S. sorghum production moved higher in 2020 as producers planted more acres to meet demand expectations. That includes a surge in demand from China, which uses the grain for livestock feeding and beverage alcohol.

The USDA says the 2020 sorghum for grain crop was 372.96 million bushels, a year to year jump of 31.5 million bushels, with an average yield of 73.2 bushels per acre, an increase two tenths of a bushel from 2019. Planted area increased by 615,000 acres to 5.88 million and harvested area was up 420,000 acres at 5.095 million.

Sorghum for silage totaled 3.125 million tons, down 894,000, with a higher average yield, 13.1 tons per acre, compared to 11.9 the year prior, canceled out by lower harvested area, falling from 339,000 acres in 2019 to 239,000 in 2020.

The USDA lowered the sorghum ending stocks projection by 2 million bushels to 28 million, which would be steady with last marketing year, with higher production and lower food, seed, and industrial use canceled out by an increase in exports. The average 2020/21 farm price is estimated at $4.70 per bushel, compared to $4.40 for December and $3.34 for the 2019/20 marketing year.

U.S. sorghum stocks on December 1st were 219.114 million bushels, down 12% on the year, with a 19% jump in first quarter usage.

The 2020/21 marketing year for sorghum started September 1st.

The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out February 9th, with quarterly grain stocks and 2021 prospective planting estimates out March 31st.

Comparisons for applicable Brownfield states:

Nebraska: Grain: 13.65 million bushels, compared to 12.09 million in 2019; average yield of 91 bushels per acre, compared to 93 a year ago; harvested area of 150,000 acres, compared to 130,000 last year; Silage: 180,000 tons, compared to 600,000 in 2019; average yield of 12 tons per acre, compared to 10 a year ago; harvested area of 15,000 acres, compared to 60,000 last year

South Dakota: Grain: 11.36 million bushels, compared to 14 million in 2019; average yield of 71 bushels per acre, compared to 80 a year ago; harvested area of 160,000 acres, compared to 175,000 last year; Silage: 350,000 tons, compared to 845,000 in 2019; average yield of 14 tons per acre, compared to 13 a year ago; harvested area of 25,000 tons, compared to 65,000 last year