Pearl Millet is a warm-season annual grass commonly used for grazing as well as hay and silage production. Pearl Millet is desirable as forage due to its high leaf to stem ratio and high yield potential. It can reach heights of over 6’ tall at full maturity, making it more comparable to sorghum-sudangrass than to other common hay millets. Pearl Millet will regrow following cutting or grazing and can be used in a multi-harvest scenario. Pearl Millet is drought hardy and grows well in light or sandy soils. It is moderately tolerant of saline soils but will not survive in standing water.
Drilled Seeding Rate: 15-20 lbs/acre
- Planting Time: Late Spring – Mid Summer
- Millet needs a minimum soil temperature of 60 degrees to germinate.
- Drilled Seeding Rate: 15-20 lbs/acre
- Ideal Seed Depth: 1/2” – ¾”
- Millet can also be broadcasted and rolled or packed to gain seed to soil contact.
Use the fertilizer rates below for maximum yield potential:
|Recommended Application Rate (Lbs/acre)|
|Soil Fertility Level||Nitrogen (N)||Phosphorus (P2O5)||Potassium (K2O)|
*Rates are recommended if no soil test is taken.
- Apply ½ rate of nitrogen before or immediately after planting, and the other ½ rate 30 days after emergence.
- If crop is intended for multiple cuttings, split apply the total rates recommended between each cutting.
- Do not exceed a total of 10 lbs/a of N+K if fertilizer is placed in-furrow at planting.
Plant into a clean, weed-free seedbed and use the herbicide options below for optimal weed control:
|Timing||Herbicide||Rate||Notes||Weeds Controlled||Control Method|
|Preplant or Preemergence||Explorer (Mesotrione)||6 oz/a||Apply any time after planting and before crop emergence||Broadleaves||Contact & Residual|
|Sharpen (Saflufenacil)||1-2 oz/a||Apply any time after planting and before crop emergence. Do not apply if soil pH is > 7.8||Broadleaves||Contact & Residual|
|Makaze (Glyphosate)||32 oz/a||Apply any time before crop emergence||Grasses & Broadleaves||Contact|
|Post- emergence||Permit (Halosulfuron)||0.5-0.67 oz/a||Apply between the 2-leaf stage and layby stage||Broadleaves||Contact & Residual|
|Comet (Fluroxypyr)||0.5-0.67 pts/a||Apply between the 2-leaf stage and before early boot stage||Broadleaves||Contact|
|2,4-D Amine (2,4-D)||0.5-1 pt/a||Apply from 5-leaf stage to early boot stage||Broadleaves||Contact|
|Yukon (Dicamba + Halosulfuron)||3-4 oz/a||Apply from the 3- to 5-leaf stage||Broadleaves||Contact & Residual|
Disclaimer: All products and rates were provided by university-based sources and product labels. Always follow label instructions and consult your local chemical dealer and seed dealer before making any applications or planting of seed.
- Hay: Cut in the early boot stage for the fastest dry down and leave a stubble height of 6” for optimal regrowth.
- Silage/Haylage: Cut in the boot stage and leave a stubble height of 6” if planning for multiple cuts. Cut in the mid-dough stage if planning for a single harvest.
- Grazing: Begin when plants are still vegetative and graze to a stubble height of 6” to allow regrowth before grazing again. Use a rotational system for best in-season utilization by livestock, or allow full growth for fall and winter grazing.
- Anti-Quality Factors: Pearl Millet that is stressed to the point of stunted growth can accumulate nitrates in the lower portion of the plant and should not be grazed or hayed during these stress periods. Ensiling pearl millet with high levels of nitrates will reduce them to safe levels. There are no prussic acid concerns with millets.