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From Stalk to Syrup, Continued For Heckemeyer, his typical 200 acres of sweet sor-


ghum will yield approximately 200 gallons of syrup per acre in average growing conditi ons, and upwards of 300 and beyond in a good year. Looking to achieve an indus- trial level, Heckemeyer said he has the capacity to bott le or sell by truck load, giving him the opti on to service a number of markets. While he is striving for large-scale production,


flavor and quality are not compromised. Heckemeyer said he eats sorghum syrup every day and enjoys its unique taste. “Sorghum syrup’s fl avor is not harsh, it’s not smooth


- it has an aroma and taste that is more earthy,” he said. “I’m addicted to it.” Due to sorghum syrup’s one-of-a-kind essence, it’s gaining interest. Heckemeyer said he has had contact


Japanese Consumers, Continued Initi ally, the market was very limited and Hamamoto


said it was diffi cult for Japanese consumers to fi nd sorghum products. Awareness of sorghum and its unique health att ri- butes was also low, but things are beginning to change. “Now we ask consumers about it, and they say ‘ah, I


heard about it, I saw sorghum somewhere,’” Hamamoto said. “Now I think it is important to provide even more in- formati on about sorghum so that consumers would take the second step and try it for themselves.” While Japanese shoppers are currently consuming


several hundred tons of food grade sorghum per year, Hamamoto said he hopes the market will expand 5-10 ti mes in the future. To achieve this goal, he said they will conti nue targeti ng their two main segments—those with celiac disease and those seeking healthy products.


SORGHUM CHECKOFF MISSION: USCP commits to effi ciently invest checkoff dollars to increase


producer profi tability and enhance the sorghum industry.


CONTACT US: Faith Jurek Communicati ons Director (877) 643-8727 faithj@sorghumcheckoff .com


December 24-25 — Christmas Holiday Offi ce closed


December 31-January 1 — New Years Holiday Offi ce Closed


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from soy sauce producers, cookie manufacturers, those interested in its use as a table syrup, and many others. However, due to the immense fermentability of sorghum syrup, the most popular request is from craft disti lleries for use in premium spirits. Heckemeyer said he is also investi gati ng sweet sorghum’s use in green chemicals. Inclusion of sorghum syrup expands common


boundaries and is also a great additi on to barbecue marinades, salad dressings, granolas and so much more. Plus sorghum syrup is lower in fructose levels than other sweeteners and is high in potassium. Heckemeyer said sorghum syrup is a wonderful


sugar that can provide for a variety of needs. “Sorghum syrup speaks for itself,” Heckemeyer said.


“It is a very disti nct sugar, and it isn’t something that can be copied. In the food world, the sky is the limit.”


4


Given Japanese food trends, consumers are always


looking for something new and innovati ve to sati sfy their palett es. Lopez said Grains Council Japan has capti vated these consumers by promoti ng sorghum in unique ways that have proven to be helpful in more ways than one. “Japan’s experiences in promoti ng sorghum as the


smart choice has given us insight in developing our own unique push for sorghum into the U.S. food industry,” Lo- pez said. “While we are sti ll some ti me away from saying eff orts in Japan have been a total success, we can say it has and will impact the future of sorghum.”


Sorghum Industry Events


December 8-10 — Sorghum Checkoff Board Meeti ng Lubbock, Texas


December 9-10 — Leadership Sorghum Graduati on Lubbock, Texas


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