Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Pearl Millet

Posted by romeethredge on August 22, 2013

The crop growing behind Eddie in last week’s question was Pearl Millet. It is a great summer annual forage for cattle. It grows fast and can be used for a variety of purposes. This was planted after sweet corn harvest and is growing fast. It will also grow pretty well in drought conditions.

Pearl millet originated in Africa and is the most widely-planted summer annual grass in Georgia. This tall growing, erect annual grass produces several stems from a central plant. As a result, it requires at least six to eight inches of stubble to regrow. Improved varieties can produce more than six tons per acre. Even under moderate drought conditions, these varieties will rarely yield less than four tons per acre.

                     Pearl MilletPearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum)

Pearl millet can be grazed or harvested as hay or silage. Researchers at Tifton have found that pearl millet grazing should begin when plants reach 20 to 24 inches, but regrowth rate and animal performance is best if a nine to 12 inches stubble height is maintained. Pearl millet can make good quality hay if cut when plants reach two to three feet tall. This prevents the forage from maturing beyond the boot stage and therefore being too mature to provide high quality. The drying rate of millet hay can be sped up by the use of a roller/crimper-style conditioner.


Here’s a great video done by UGA Forage Scientist Dennis Hancock, he talks about Pearl Millet and the Sorghum Sudan grasses.

We have a lot of good forage info at


This week my question is about this plant. What is it and why is it important to differentiate it from other vines that are similar?



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