Grain sorghum, it’s what’s for breakfast.

Glenn Schur, Plainview, Texas, grain and cotton producer, says the food grade grain sorghum, Onyx, he grew for the first time last year could offer new opportunities for Southwest farmers looking for alternative crops and new markets.

Currently, food-grade sorghum accounts for only 2 percent of the grain sorghum grown in the United States, but it’s an important niche market that could grow, Schur says.

“It’s a high-value crop and I think we have an opportunity for more acreage in the Southwest. This could be a 10 million to 15 million pound market.”

Currently, the food-grade sorghum Schur grows goes into four Grain Berry cereals distributed by Silver Palate of New Jersey. He sends his grain to the ADM facility in Dodge City, Kansas. Several Texas food store chains currently carry the cereal, United Supermarkets and H.E.B., Schur said. Silver Palate is negotiating with others.

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“The cereal is good,” he says. “It’s not all laced with sugar.”  Two of the cereals are similar to popular round-shaped oat cereals. A honey nut product and bran flakes are also available.

In addition to cereal, the sorghum also goes into brownie, pancake and muffin mixes.

Schur says the black sorghum flour offers several health benefits. It’s gluten free and also has high anti-oxidant levels. “Food-grade sorghum has a different kind of anti-oxidant than in typical grain sorghum.” Tannin level is also higher.

“It is kinda nice to see a cereal in the grocery store and know that I grew the grain in it,” he says.

The black sorghum was developed by Texas A&M breeder Bill Rooney.