Sorghum, an annual grass that can grow 12' tall, is seriously being looked at for its biomass potential.

“Sorghum produces high yields, is naturally drought-tolerant and can thrive in places that do not support corn and other food crops,” says Texas A&M's Bill Rooney, plant scientist at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.

“Sorghum also fits into established production systems and is harvested the year it is planted, unlike perennial grasses, so it fits well in a crop mix with perennial species and existing crops, like cotton.”

Rooney's first breeding lines nearly topped 20' under favorable conditions. They could produce more than 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre — more than four times the current starch-to-ethanol process, according to a university press release.

The experiment station is working with Ceres, Inc., to expand its breeding efforts.