Sorgo for sirup production : culture, harvesting, and handling. Page: 2
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2 FARMERS' BULLETIN 1619
information is applicable to present-day conditions in the growing
of the crop for sirup-making purposes; but much of it is not applicable,
and much of it is now out of (late. This bulletin has been
prepared to give recommended practices in the culture and management
of the crop, including planting, cultivating, harvesting, and
handling, applicable to conditions prevailing at the present time.
The production of sorgo sirup has varied considerably from year
to year. According to census estimates it amounted to 16,532,000
gallons in 1909. In 1920 the production had increased to 49,505,000
gallons, according to estimates of the United States Department of
Agriculture, and the average price received by producers in that year
was $1.069 a gallon, making the value of the crop in that year approximately
$52,922,000. This large increase in production and the
price received per gallon were due partly to a scarcity of sugar
following the World War. Subsequent to 1920 there was a decrease
both in production and in price received by producers, 24,926,000 gallons,
having an average value of 94.9 cents, being produced in 1925,
according to Department of Agriculture estimates, and 26,972,000
gallons, having an average value of 91.5 cents, in 1928.
Sorgo sirup is much more commonly used in the States where it
is produced than in other sections. The homemade product is often
of very high quality, being light in color, mild, and of fine flavor.
It is well liked as a table sirup, especially by those who are accustomled
to it. WVithout doubt it is a wholesome food product.
PROCESS OF MANUFACTURE OF SORGO SIRUP 3
The methods employed in the manufacture of sorgo sirup are
briefly presented here in order better to show the requirements and
the relation that cultural. harvesting, and handling practices bear
The making of sirup from sorgo, whether done with the usual
farm equipment or in a commercial factory, consists essentially in
pressing the juice from the stalks-usually by passing them through
mills consisting of steel rolls; removing impurities from the juice;
and concentrating the juice by evaporation. The leaves and seed
heads are usually removed from the stalks before the milling process
takes place: when the crop is made up with the usual farm outfit
they are generally removed before the stalks are hauled from the
field, but in commercial factories the leaves and sometimes the heads
are not removed until the stalks have reached the factory. Impurities
in the juice are largely eliminated either just previous to or
during the process of boiling it down. Heating causes some of the
albuminous substances contained to coagulate and rise to the surface,
carrying with them other particles of solid matter present, including
particles of the leaf sheaths and stalks. Where sirup is made on a
small scale, these are removed by skimming, but in commercial factories
pressure filters are often used. Filtration may be assisted
and jellying of the sirup avoided by treating the juice with extract
of malt. Water is sometimes applied during the milling process
in the factories to help remove sugar-bearing juice; lime is sometimes
The making or sorgo sirup is treated more fully in the following publication: U. S.
Dept. Agr. Farmers' Bul. 1791. Farm Production of Sorgo Sirup.
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Cowgill, Horace Branson, 1880-1937. Sorgo for sirup production : culture, harvesting, and handling., book, 1938; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1748/m1/4/: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.