Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Baldwin, Brian S.

Committee Member

Cox, Michael S.

Committee Member

Columbus, Eugene P.

Committee Member

Lemus, Rocky W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Petroleum prices have made alternative fuel crops a viable option for ethanol production. Sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor] is a nonood crop that may produce large quantities of ethanol with minimal inputs. Eleven cultivars were planted in 2008 and 2009 as a half-season crop. Four-row plots 6.9 m by 0.5 m, were monitored bimonthly for °Brix, height, and sugar accumulation. Yield and extractable sap were taken at the end of season. Stalk yield was greatest for the cultivar Sugar Top (4945 kg ha-1) and lowest for Simon (1054 kg ha-1). Dale ranked highest ethanol output (807 L ha-1) while Simon (123 L ha-1) is the lowest. All cultivars peak Brix accumulation occurs in early October. Individual sugar concentrations indicated sucrose is the predominant sugar with glucose and fructose levels dependent on cultivar. Supplemental ethanol in fermented wort was the best preservative tested to halt degradation of sorghum wort.