The company, which is owned by Smithfield Foods and has a facility in Waverly, is buying more locally-produced grains to supplement its traditional corn diets for pigs, said David Hull, an ingredient merchandiser for Murphy-Brown.
The company will grind into feed all of the sorghum taken to Waverly that will be distributed to its contracted hog farmers in the area, Hull
Murphy-Brown pays 95 percent of harvest cash price of corn for sorghum, said Hull
Last year, the company bought more than 1.5 million bushels of the grain from North Carolina farmers, he
expects to top 2 million bushels in North Carolina this year and in Virginia, an estimated 100,000 bushels.
Sorghum is not intended to replace corn, Hull
began looking for alternatives to shipping in corn from the Midwest in 2008, after the commodity hit record levels for that time.
"This is a permanent program for us.
If a local farmer has sorghum, we will buy it," Hull