Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
Plant Characteristics: Leaf blades have finely-serrated margins and are wide, long and pointed. A hairy ligule is present and seed head is a large cylindrical spike.
Establishment: Millet has a good tolerance to drought. It can be grown throughout the state. Planting occurs from April to June by drilling at seeding rates of 12 to 15 lb/ac or broadcasting at 25 to 30 lb/ac. Planting depth ranges from 1/2 to 2 inches depending on soil texture. Armyworms and chinch bugs could affect establishment and productivity.
Fertilization: Pearl millet is well adapted to sandy-loam soils with pH ranging from 5.5 to 7. Very responsive to nitrogen at least up to 180 lbs/acre. When N rates are greater than 50 lb N/ac, split applications are recommended for uniform growth and balanced plant nutrition.
Grazing/Hay Management: Pearl millet can be used in pasture or silage production. Forage production occurs from June to September with yields ranging from 5 to 10 tons/ac. High stocking rates are recommended with rotational grazing. Stems should be mowed after grazing to increase tillering. Hay should be harvest when plant reach 30 to 40 inches.
Forage Quality: Highly nutritive if harvested at an immature stage. Nitrate poisoning could be a problem under stress conditions.