Knowing about the biology of each species and their preferred growing conditions can help make decisions about which millets to use for particular cover crop situations. A moderate number of forage varieties are available. In both 1983 and Foxtail and Proso Millet -- These millets rarely provide 169 0 obj
Grain crop use: While foxtail millet is a very acceptable food grain grown in many countries for food use, it has in the past gotten little attention for grain harvest or food use in the U.S. With greater interest in multigrain food products, there may be more of a market for foxtail millet grain going forward. Price. It has much better tolerance to flooding than other summer annual forages and can grow in heavy, wet soils. As in proso millet, the seeds are enclosed in the hull and also range in color from creamy white, red, yellow or dark purple. • During the growing phase the plant flowers and begins to develop four or five tillers along its main ... grown: pearl millet, brown top millet, foxtail millet, and Japanese millet. They were planted on June 18 side by side (mainly for our own comparison). Often a few cool season cover crops are also added to the mix, such as radishes, clovers, oats, or winter cereals. Figure 1. Foxtail millet in particular is sold under many names in the U.S., such as Italian millet or German millet. Japanese Millet stems are coarser than Foxtail and Proso Millets but thinner than Pearl Millet. Some basic information on growing each millet are also provided, including in tables on seeding practices. On-farm use of millets for grazing, silage, or hay eliminates the question of finding a market. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. tall. This allows Chiwapa to be planted earlier in the growing season when rainfall is plentiful and still be standing when the first frost arrives. The inflorescence is a brown to purple panicle made up of 5 to 15 sessile erect branches. For example, proso millet, being from the colder parts of central and east Asia, is best adapted to cooler areas of the U.S. with short growing seasons. Some species of foxtail millet are grown for birdseed. Asia and Africa is still a major producer of sorghum, but the crop is also popular in many other regions of the world, including the U.S. Sorghum is used much more worldwide than the other millets, so perhaps the “great millet” term is deserved. This millet can handle standing water if the young plant doesn't become completely submerged. Millet is a collective term commonly referred to a number of small seeded annual grass grain crops. It resembles, and may have originated from barnyardgrass. However, Japanese millet will be killed if completely submerged in floodwaters for an extended period. Both of these crops are fast growers that provide forage in the heat of summer. Cover crop use: Best uses for Japanese millet as a cover crop are where soils tend to be wet or where feed for waterfowl or other birds is desired. In a University of Minnesota trial, Japanese millet had more crude protein after one cutting (14.1 percent) than pearl, foxtail, or proso millet, and after multiple cuttings (16.6 percent) was comparable to pearl millet and sudangrass. Japenese Millet is noted for having the most rapid growth of all millets. Japanese Millet is a summer annual grass, and produces a relatively coarse (stemmy) forage. There are four forage millets commonly grown: pearl millet, brown top millet, foxtail millet, and Japanese millet.
Additional details on sorghum and teff are provided near the end of the publication. Starting small and focusing on a good quality product is key to success in custom hay sales. However, if excess hay is produced beyond farm needs, it may be possible to find a market, particularly if other forages are in short supply. However, given its reasonably vigorous growth and tolerance of tough growing conditions, it may have merit for use in cover crop mixes. Fonio and Job’s tears, the other minor crops referred to earlier in this publication, are not readily available in the U.S. seed industry, greatly restricting any potential to use them as cover crops. The Jap millet far out-yeilded the Pearl with this first cut. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate the effect of growth stage and sowing date on water use strategies in four annual forage crops (forage maize, Sudan grass, foxtail millet and Japanese millet), and 2) quantify water use in different soil layers for each of the forage crops. Vegetative growth rate in Japanese millet is strongly influenced by temperature, with plants growing faster at warmer temperatures (Muldoon et al. Foxtail millet has slender, erect leafy stems and may grow up to 50 in. To get maximum yield, hybrids have been developed, meaning that new hybrid seed needs to be purchased every year from the seed dealer rather than saving seed for planting. The seed heads are also different, with browntop millet having more of an open panicle and Japanese millet having a narrower, elongated seed head. At very high nitrate levels (such as over 1.76 percent for any livestock or 1.54 percent for pregnant animals) the hay should not be used at all. Grown annually on 5 to 10 million acres in the U.S., it’s found all along the southern and western edge of the Corn Belt. Although soybeans made their way from China to the U.S. and became one of our two most widely grown crops, foxtail millet is another Chinese crop that has received considerably less attention in the U.S. After Chinese crops started spreading around the world, foxtail millet was found a home in some European countries because it could mature quickly in the short European summers. Growing Millet in the United States. Foxtail millet will work well with other mid-height summer covers such as buckwheat and cowpeas. Harvest at 40-50 inches or when crop is in the boot stage. However, there are some differences, including that browntop is less adapted to wet soil conditions than Japanese millet. 193 0 obj
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View all agriculture and environment programs, Starting a Small Business: The First Steps, Agricultural systems and natural resources, Agricultural Business and Policy Extension, Veterinary Extension and Continuing Education, Exceed - Regional Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, Missouri Small Business Development Centers, Continuing Medical Education and Physician Lifelong Learning, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, General observations on millets as cover crops, Other grass crops sometimes referred to as millets, equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer. However, due to reasonably vigorous growth, Japanese millet can also be used as a single species cover in upland sites to smother weeds; one study found a dense stand of Japanese millet was effective in reducing yellow nutsedge weed population. When to cut Millet for hay - posted in Alfalfa/Hay: Hi I have a 5ha paddock of Shirohie Millet that is from 250mm to 500mm high and was wondering when the best time to cut it for hay is, I will be round baling it. Table 1. Although the scientific name and the most common U.S. name is provided above, most of these crops are known by multiple common names, which will be provided in the sections later in this publication on each crop. Certainly they have a potential role as part of an effort to diversify cropping systems, whether as a grain, forage, cover crop or for other conservation use. Humans selected and domesticated these plants because of their valuable characteristics and most have been used for thousands of years. For quick cover: Foxtail millet is perhaps the best choice for a fast-growing summer cover, but all the millets are relatively good in this regard. (Photo credit: R. Myers). However, it may have a role as in drought-tolerant mixes of summer annual cover crops, including where people want to provide some seed attractive to songbirds or gamebirds. An example of a mix of warm season cover crops would be pearl millet, sorghum-sudangrass, sunflower, sunhemp, cowpea, and buckwheat. Grain use: The main use of proso millet is for seed or grain harvest. Pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum [L.] Leeke) is one of the most important food crops in the drier semi-arid tropics. Before going into the specific characteristics of each millet, a few general observations about these crops may be helpful. For maximum biomass: For most row-crop regions, forage-type pearl millet provides the most biomass compared to other millets. Some general tips on using millets for cover crop use are as follows: For optimum biodiversity: Combine one or more millets with legumes and other grasses and broadleaves. 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