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  • Sven-Erik Jacobsen

SORGHUM – new varieties adapted to north Europe


Sorghum is a drought tolerant, multipurpose crop, and can be an alternative, sustainable sugar crop. New varieties are adapted to north Europe


New varieties

New varieties have been developed through a collaboration with the major European sorghum breeder. The cooperation has given us access to valuable material, which matures in north Europe. It creates many interesting options for the future.

Sorghum is a multi-purpose crop, where you can use the seed, the stem, the juice, the leaves etc., for a range of different products. Our focus in the breeding programme is seed and juice.


Description

Sorghum, (Sorghum bicolor), sometimes called durra, is a cereal of the grass family (Poaceae). Sorghum originated in Africa, where it is a major food crop of numerous types, including grain sorghum, used for food, and sorghum used for fodder. A new use is sweet sorghum as a sustainable alternative to sugarcane.

Today sorghum is the fifth most important cereal after wheat, rice, maize and barley. Sorghum is especially valued in hot and arid regions for its resistance to drought and heat. Sorghum usually grows to a height of 0.6 to 2.4 m. The tiny flowers are produced in panicles that range from loose to dense; each flower cluster bears 800–3,000 kernels. The seeds vary widely among different types in colour, shape, and size.


Nutritional value

Sorghum is high in carbohydrates, with 10% protein and 3.4% oil, and contains Ca and small amounts of iron, vitamin B1 and niacin. For human consumption, the gluten-free grain is traditionally ground into porridge, flatbreads, and cakes. The stems are used as fodder and building materials. Sweet sorghums are grown mainly in the USA and southern Africa for forage and for syrup, and are sometimes used in the production of alcohol for biofuel.



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