Sorghum production increased by 70% in the last year to an estimated 2.2m tonnes, the government researcher said, with demand expected to rise again next year alongside favourable growing conditions.
With Australia in the midst of a lengthy drought, sorghum is seen as a godsend for farmers due to its hardy character and cheap cultivation. Considered a superfood in nutrition circles, it is also a staple in China and India.
Katie Hutt from the ABS said that sorghum production had increased in the face of falling wheat production, signifying a shift towards sorghum by farmers.
"The total area of sorghum in Australia increased by 37% in 2014-15 to 730,000 hectares, up from 532,000 in 2013-14, resulting in record high areas of sorghum," Hutt said.
"ABS export data reflects the increase in production with a higher demand from China, which accounted for the majority of Australian sorghum exports in 2014-15."
"Wheat production was estimated to have fallen in Western Australia with frost and hail damage contributing to the decrease."
"Wheat production was also estimated to have fallen in New South Wales due to a dry finish across most of the state, adversely affecting yields."