As Mark Graf walked the fields of his southwest Oklahoma farm this summer the only green crop in sight was sesame. This relatively new crop is grown in arid regions around the world, which makes it a good fit for the High Plains.
When Danny Peeper, SESACO Seed Company, travels across the area promoting sesame he emphasizes that it is a drought-tolerant crop with a really deep root system and it is very forgiving as far as when it gets rain. By the first week in July Graf's crop had been in the ground for over a month with no rain, but Peeper said it could still make a crop if it rained.
SESACO contracted 120,000 acres of sesame in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas this year with over half of those acres in Oklahoma. Globally, Asia produces 65 percent of the sesame with the three largest producers being India, China, and Myanmar.