an annual warm season grass. There are several different
types of millet, but the three most commonly grown
in Western Canada are Crown (proso), Siberian (foxtail)
and German (foxtail). The foxtail millets are taller,
later maturing, and well suited to forage production.
Proso millet is usually grown for grain, but can
be successfully used as forage. If an earlier seeded
crop has failed, proso’s rapid maturity makes it
an excellent emergency forage crop. Crown is generally
regarded as forage-type proso millet.
n its traditional
growing areas in India and many African countries,
pearl millet is the basic staple for households
in the poorest countries and among the poorest people.
The grain is consumed in the form of leavened or
unleavened breads, porridges, boiled or steamed
foods, and (alcoholic) beverages.
is the best use for millet?
Millet is best suited for swath grazing.
Yields and quality tend to be comparable
to spring cereals used for the same
purpose. However, later seeding dates,
warmer temperatures, and drier conditions
can favor millet. Millet will resist
some weathering in the swath due to
a thick waxy coating over its leaves
and stems. While this trait is desirable
for swath grazing, it makes green feed
hard to dry down. Researchers in Saskatchewan
have had good success putting millet
up as ‘yellow feed’ by pre-harvesting
with glyphosate herbicide and then allowing
the crop to dry standing. Millet can
be made into acceptable silage, but
due to the high moisture content (75%
at early heading) it will require field
wilting before chopping. Foxtail and
proso millet are not suited to grazing.
The regrowth is poor and the grazing
animals can easily pull out the shallow
roots. Feeding millet to horses is not
recommended, because it can cause excessive
urination and kidney irritation.
- Well suited for swath grazing.
Reported to resist weathering in the swath.
- Good drought tolerance.
- Rapid maturity allows for good yields with later seeding.
- Does not require high levels of fertility to produce adequate yields.
- Forage quality is similar to spring cereals used for swath grazing.
- Poor performance under cool wet conditions.
- Sensitive to lodging. Proso millet more so than German millet.
- Not very useful for grazing.
- Not recommended for horses.
- Hard to dry down for green feed production.
- Seeding costs can be high.
- Weed control options are limited.