Sorghum Origins & Development
The origin and early domestication of sorghum took place in northeast Africa, and the earliest known record of sorghum comes from an archaeological dig at Nabta Playa, near the Egyptian-Sudanese border and had been dated at 8,000 B.C. It spread throughout Africa and along the way adapted to a wide range of environments from the highlands of Ethiopia to the semi-arid Sahel.
The development and spread of five different races of sorghum can, in many cases, be attributed to the movement of various tribal groups in Africa. Sorghum then spread to India and China and eventually worked its way into Australia. The first known record of sorghum in the United States comes from Ben Franklin in 1757, who wrote about its application in producing brooms.
“Because of its versatility and adaptation, “sorghum is one of the really indispensable crops” required for the survival of humankind.” – Jack Harlan, 1971
The inherent tolerance of sorghum to marginal lands and environmental conditions, its versatility as a food and feed grain, and its ability to produce high yields ensure its important role in the lives of millions of people throughout the world.