Ala farmers turn to sesame seeds for dollars - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Ala farmers turn to sesame seeds for dollars

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama farmers are turning to a new product as they try to make a living off the land: Sesame.

The Alabama Farmers Federation says state farmers planted about 7,500 acres in sesame this year, which is a drastic increase from only 1,500 acres in 2012.

So many farmers will be harvesting sesame for the first time in coming weeks.

Sesame seeds are used for baking: Think of the little white seeds you see on hamburger buns.

But sesame seeds also are used in other dishes, including Asian foods, and oil is extracted from the seeds.

The Farmers Federation says sesame plants have flowers that can bloom for weeks, and plants stand as tall as 6 feet. The plant tolerates drought and can grow in places where other crops fail.

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