Domesticated by man long ago, sweet sorghum has been cultivated as source of sugar since time millennia.
In 1853, the crop was introduced to North American from Tropical Africa. Owing to its origins, the species is a hardy crop, capable of growing in harsh environments, such as hot and dry regions of the world.
Thus, sweet sorghum is better suited than corn as a source of renewal fuel in regions where corn is poorly adapted.
The crops of corn, sugarcane and grain sorghum have enjoyed extensive research and development, including improved genetics and refined agronomic practices, such as fertilizer materials, rates and application timing.
Historically, sweet sorghum had far less research and development to improve productivity via plant breeding and other agronomic research.
Today, efforts by members of the SSA, both research scientists at universities and at commercial companies, are conducting numerous agronomic research and development projects to improve the genetics and develop "best practices" for fertilization and other agronomic aspects of growing sweet sorghum as a source of renewal fuel.
Sweet sorghum, in the background, growing behind grain
sorghum in the foreground. Notice the differences in plant height, seed head size and stalk thickness.