U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives

U.S. Embassy APHIS and Commercial officials tour sorghum farm in Colonia

The sorghum seeds, provided by the University of Mississippi and the U.S. Department of State, are the first ever planted in Uruguay

March 3, 2004


U.S. Embassy representatives Robert Gorter, Commercial Section, Ricardo Romero, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and intern Jason Manwaring traveled on Feb. 26 to Centro Immanuel (CE), an ecumenical farm in Colonia. The group viewed the growth of sorghum seed, procured in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and University of Mississippi.

CE is a NGO that promotes good agriculture practices by combining organic and sustainable production systems. The center has a small research center to test its agricultural practices, including minimum tillage, organic fertilizers (manure and natural pest control), and crop rotations for livestock and grain (and other by-products) production. In 2003, CE requested assistance from the US Embassy, Montevideo, to import 36 KG of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) to initiate research in sugar/sweetener production.

This is the first time sweet sorghum has been planted in Uruguay. It will have two uses: sugar/molasses and cattle feed. With a three-month growth cycle, Uruguay has an ideal climate conditions for sorghum, allowing two harvests per year. With the harvest drawing near, administrators invited embassy staff to see the fruits of their cooperative efforts.

During the visit, farmers showed 10 hectares of sorghum planted with US seeds. Because of their successful experience, CE requested assistance for starting a cooperative agreement with the University of Mississippi for testing new sorghum varieties in Uruguay.




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