Grain sorghum or "milo" is an annual grass grown in places throughout the world that have long, dry summers or where the climate is too dry to grow corn. According to the U.S. Grains Council, it is the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world and the third most important cereal crop grown in America. Grain sorghum was introduced into the United States by Benjamin Franklin.
Because grain sorghum has a higher protein and fat content than corn, it is a valuable feed for livestock. It is also high in vitamin A. It is difficult to digest however, because of the tough seed coating and is often cracked or heated using mechanical methods to break the seed coating. Grain sorghum can be used in food for chickens, pigs, horses, cows and even dog and cat food.
Grain alcohol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol is made by fermenting grain, and grain sorghum can be used for this purpose. Grain alcohol is used in alcoholic beverages as well as fuel and industrial applications.
As a cereal grain, the seeds of grain sorghum can be ground into flour and used to make bread or baked goods. It is also used as an ingredient in snack foods in many parts of the world.
A starch, similar to corn starch, is made from grain sorghum and is used as an adhesive in the manufacture of paper and fabrics. It is also used as a thickening agent in food production.
Drilling mud is used when drilling for oil to equalize or increase pressure in the drilling pipes. It also keeps the drilling bit cool and helps remove the cuttings during the drilling process. Because the grain from grain sorghum can be processed to create a thick substance that holds together well, it is often processed and used as an additive to drilling mud.