A overabundance for milo is causing storages issues at Great Bend Co-op, forcing the grain to be piled on the ground, according to the elevator’s Operations Manager Dennis Neeland.
“The yield this year was much greater than last year so we have a lot more of it coming in,” Neeland said. This has lead to the co-op max out its bin storage capacity.
As of Wednesday morning there was approximately 200,000 bushels of milo on the ground across from the co-op. Neeland said that they are expecting around another million bushels to be delivered and stored on the ground at different locations including at Albert and Pawnee Rock.
Neeland said with some rain, the milo will form a crust that will repel water. It can last sitting on the ground for three to four months.
According to Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission Director Pat Damman, last year there was 56 bushels per acre and this year farmers are seeing 76. This is the reason for the over supply of sorghum in Kansas.
“We are seeing more acreage and bigger and better yields this year,” Damman said.
He also went on to say that most of this milo will probably be used for ethanol production.
Information from the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission notes that in the United States, South America and Australia, sorghum grain is used primarily for livestock feed and in a growing number of ethanol plants. Sorghum produces the same amount of ethanol per bushel as comparable feedstocks and uses one third less water.
In the livestock market, sorghum is used in the poultry, beef and pork industries. Stems and foliage are used for green chop, hay, silage, and pasture.
A significant amount of U.S. sorghum is also exported to international markets where it is used for animal feed and ethanol.
Sorghum has recently appeared in food products in the US, because of use in gluten-free food products. Sorghum is an substitute for wheat for those who cannot tolerate gluten. Sorghum is used to make both leavened and unleavened breads.
In Sahelian Africa, it is primarily used in couscous. Various fermented and unfermented beverages are made from sorghum. It can be steamed or popped and is consumed as a fresh vegetable in some areas of the world. Syrup is made from sweet sorghum.
As for ethanol, there are 12 dry mill ethanol plants are currently in operation in Kansas producing about 550 million gallons per year. Current Kansas production creates a market for about 183 million bushels of sorghum and corn.
The two grains are interchangeable in the ethanol-making process. One-third of the grain used for ethanol returns to the food stream as wet or dry distillers grains (DDGS), a valued, high-nutrient livestock feed. Kansas’ ethanol plants bring millions of dollars of revenue and economic development to Kansas and the rural communities where they are located.
Sorghum was planted on approximately 4.8 million acres in 2010. Of the 21 sorghum-producing states, the top five in 2010 were:
5. South Dakota
The Sorghum Belt runs from South Dakota to Southern Texas and the crop is grown primarily on dryland acres. Over the years, sorghum has been either exported, used in animal feed domestically or utilized in industrial and food uses. In recent years, sorghum’s use in the ethanol market has seen tremendous growth, with 30 to 35 percent of domestic sorghum going to ethanol production.