LUBBOCK, TEXAS, US — Sorghum acres in the United States in 2021 are estimated to increase 24% from the previous year to 7.3 million, the highest planted area since 2015, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released on Sept. 10.

The estimate was up 12% from the August report. The two largest grain sorghum-producing states — Kansas and Texas — planted 3.6 million and 2.2 million acres with an increase of 20% and 26%, respectively, over last year.

“We have long known that US sorghum’s potential is tremendous, whether as a solution in crop rotations that adds value for farmers or as a resource-conserving, versatile product for end users worldwide,” said Norma Ritz Johnson, executive director of the Sorghum Checkoff. “US sorghum farmers are ready to meet growing global demand for sorghum, and that is evidenced by this amazing growth in acreage.”

Tim Lust, chief executive officer of the Sorghum Checkoff, said with the increase in acres and strong yield, the 2021 sorghum crop will be the most valuable in history, worth over $2.7 billion.

“The Sorghum Checkoff is working tirelessly to develop and enhance marketplaces both domestically and internationally and investing in research to advance the crop while adding value for sorghum farmers,” Lust said.

Last week, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported weekly US sorghum purchase commitments of 5 million bushels from China, Mexico and unknown destinations. These commitments bring total sales for the 2021-22 marketing year to 77 million bushels, or 24% of the USDA export forecast just a week into the marketing year.