The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its June acreage report, increasing its estimated planted grain sorghum acres to 8.84 million, up 11 percent from its March report and 24 percent over the previous year.

“With the increase in planted acres and exceptional weather conditions, while assuming a normal yield, we should expect to see 504 million bushels harvested, 16 percent higher than last year’s harvest total,” said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “At the current projected price, the forecasted value of the 2015/2016 sorghum crop is $1.9 billion. Given price is maintained, this will be the second highest valued sorghum crop in the past 30 years and the highest since 2007, lending to an increase in producer profitability.”

The two largest grain sorghum-producing states, Kansas and Texas, planted 3.3 million and 3.1 million acres with an increase of 16 and 24 percent, respectively, over the last year.

The area with the largest increase was the Delta with a 66 percent increase over 2014 planted sorghum acres. Arkansas lead the way with half a million acres, up 194 percent from last year. Other noticeable increases include 112 percent increase in planted acres in Missouri compared to last year.

National Sorghum Producers CEO Tim Lust said the increase in projected acres further signifies the sorghum industry is at a turning point.

“There are a lot of positive things happening in the U.S. sorghum industry,” Lust said. “2014 represented the least amount of carryover within the last 15 years, indicating an increase in overall domestic and international demand. With an increase in bushels produced in 2015, maintaining consistent demand is essential to a healthy marketplace.”

Lust said the Sorghum Checkoff is working tirelessly to develop and enhance marketplaces both domestically and internationally and investing in research to advance the crop, while NSP continues advocacy and development of sound policy to ensure American farmers’ profitability.

NASS reports as of June 28, 93 percent of the crop had been planted, 68 percent of which is in good to excellent condition, further pointing to a record year for grain sorghum.