Sorghum Sees $$$ in Pet Food

Apr 16, 2021

Sorghum has a pet-filled pandemic to thank for its dynamite 2020.

And the companion animal data doesn’t lie…

  • The U.S. pet industry notched $99 billion in 2020.
  • 21% of owners spent more on their pets during the pandemic.
  • 12% of adults with children adopted a pet last year.

Why it matters: With more four-legged friends comes lots and lots of kibbles.

That’s where sorghum steps in.

The cereal crop, in high demand due to being gluten-free and high in antioxidants, had a banner year as a top ingredient in pet food.

Noting the $1.7 billion in pet food exports last year, Tim Lust of the National Sorghum Producers made it clear that sorghum is one hot commodity:

The pet food industry just continues to take more and more sorghum. And domestically, they have been very aggressively bidding against the international markets to try to make sure they get those supplies.

Per usual, China is in the mix.

With a big appetite for sorghum to feed their own livestock and produce alcohol for biofuels, the Asian kingpin is making markets move. In early March, China snatched up 14 million U.S. bushels, pushing prices to a market tipping $5 per bushel.

What’s ahead: The USDA thinks sorghum producers will double down with the demand. Early April reports pegged U.S. sorghum acres up 18% from 2020, with Kansas – the top producing state – scaling up 20% from last year.