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Sorghum Maps and Statistics*

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Figure 1*
Figure 2* - Global Sorghum Production Map

The top sorghum producing countries (see Figure 1) are the United States (17% of the world production), Nigeria, India (each with 14%) and Mexico (11%). The US population consumes most sorghum through intermediary livestock that consumes it, but the prevalence of sorghum in many other countries (see Figure 2), such as South America and Africa, indicate the areas where human nutrition depends heavily on grain sorghum. For more information on nutrition, see Sorghum Nutrition and Recipes.

As mentioned in the introduction, sorghum has an advantage over corn in drier and hotter climates. At the same time it is more tolerant of wet soils and flooding than most grains (2). In addition to tolerating these temperature and water stresses, sorghum adapts well to different soil types and toxicities, and these factors together make it an ideal crop for growing in abiotically stressful environments (6). Unlike corn, however, sorghum's yield under different conditions is not so varied (3). Its fairly stable yield across these conditions reduces the risk of crop failure in these areas (3, 6). These factors all contribute to where sorghum production is found.

Since 1961 sorghum production has risen almost 45%, but the land area used to grow it has decreased slightly (see Figs 3 & 4), suggesting that on average yields have increased. The US produces the most sorghum and India ties for second, but India dedicates almost 3 times the land mass to sorghum production than does the US.

Figure 3*
Figure 4*
* (Data from 4)

For more information on production and trends in sorghum, see this FAO report


  1. Animal Feed Resources Information System (AFRIS). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Sorghum bicolor" (Accessed May 18,2006).
  2. Carter, P.R.; Hicks, D.R.; Oplinger, E.S.; Doll, J.D.; Bundy, L.G.; Schuler, R.T.; and Holmes, B.J. 1989. "Grain Sorghum (Milo)." Alternative Field Crops Manual., (Accessed May 18,2006).
  3. Crop Plant Resources. August 24, 2000. "Sorghum: Sorghum bicolor." (Accessed May 18,2006).
  4. FAOSTAT data, 2005
  5. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2006, from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database,
  6. Maunder, B. 2006. "SORGHUM: The Global Grain of the Future", from National Sorghum Producers. 2006. What is Sorghum?, (Accessed May 18,2006).
  7. National Sorghum Producers. 2006. What is Sorghum?, (Accessed May 18,2006).
  8. US Grains Council. 2006 "Sorghum" (Accessed May 18,2006).
  9. USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 ( Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  10. Wikipedia contributors (2006). Sorghum. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 18, 2006 from