Video: USGC Trade Team Highlights Impact of U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) sent a team of U.S. sorghum producers and traders to Colombia and Peru last month to promote their crops and roll out the Council’s 2015/2016 Sorghum Early Harvest Quality Report. While the group was in Colombia, team members saw firsthand the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA).

High Sorghum Yields In Kansas

Kansas sorghum harvest. Photo courtesy of Kim Baldwin.

Kansas sorghum farmer Adam Baldwin had a dry harvest season, which helped him complete harvest more easily than in some past years. He finished harvesting his crop the first week of November, earlier than he expected. Typically in Kansas, sorghum plants must freeze to help dry the crop to moisture levels acceptable for harvest and storage. An early freeze helped Baldwin’s plants dry faster.

Sorghum Pilaf

Sorghum Pilaf

1 cup uncooked sorghum grain
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt to taste

Dash freshly cracked pepper

Milling Produces Multiple Food Grade Sorghum Options

Milled food grade sorghum products.

The global market for gluten-free products has been on the rise in recent years and is expected to reach $6.2 billion by 2018, according to MarketsandMarkets, a U.S. based global market research company. To meet the increasing demand, food manufacturers are relying on gluten-free ingredients to produce baked goods, cereals, snacks and other products that meet consumer demands.

Sorghum: A Gluten-Free Whole Grain

White sorghum

Sorghum: A Gluten-Free Whole Grain

Sorghum is recognized as an important farm crop in the United States and has expanded to become one of the top five crops grown worldwide.

Although sorghum has been predominately grown for livestock feed and ethanol production in the United States, it is mainly used for human food elsewhere in the world. This is partly because the crop can grow in harsh environments with drought conditions where other grains do not typically perform as well.

Council History: Decades of Opening Doors

Since its founding in 1960, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has held fast to its commitment to develop new markets for U.S. coarse grains and co-products – sometimes even in seemingly unlikely places.

It was an early step in the long process of re-opening U.S.-Cuba relations when the Council led a humanitarian grain donation to Cuba.

The Cuba mission in 1998 required State Department authorization, and the USGC delegation had to travel by way of Mexico because flights were not available from the United States to the island nation.

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