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Sorghum

Sorghum Sorghum (pronounced "sore-gum") is a grass-type plant of the Family Poaceae. Its seeds are used both as livestock feed and as the source of a flour for human consumption. While the United States is the world's largest sorghum producer, the crop is an important source of food in Southern Asia, Central America, and Africa.

The grain was first seen 5000 years ago in eastern Africa as a divergant from wild varieties of the plant. With its genetic roots in Etheopia, the crop is well suited to hot, arid, or semi-arid areas. There are many sorghum subspecies, which they are divided into four groups:
  • grain sorghums (used for feed grain and human food flour)
  • grass sorghums (for grazing pasture, hay, and silage)
  • sweet sorghums (sorghum syrups are made from this variety)
  • broom corn (which has stiff fibers used for brooms and brushes)

Dog in sorghum field This plant's sturdy stalk keeps the seeds up off the ground. Left uncut, a large enough plot of grain sorghum will provide lots of accessible food for game birds, even throughout a harsh, snowy winter. When the grain is harvested, a fair amount of mature, dried seed usually falls to the ground, so even a cut sorghum field is a favorite habitat for game birds. Pheasant, partridge, quail, and dove will all seek out sorghum fields, and usually set up shop in nearby cover. For a sense of scale, the good-sized male German Shorthaired Pointer pictured at right is standing in rows of fairly mature, late-summer sorghum.


 
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