Millet Plantation

  What Is Millet ?

Millet is 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.


What 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.