Pearl Millet is a Drought and Heat Tolerant Option for the Summer Slump

This article comes to us from our July 2015 issue and shows why Chad Fisher decided to use it in his grazing operation. Getting ready for mid-summer dry weather for your grazing animals? Pearl millet may be a great annual option because of its incredible resiliency! Pearl millet or Millet [Pennisetum americanum (L.) R. Br. is a warm season annual grass that is well-adapted to fertile soils. With proper management millet can easily yield around 10 ton of forage to the acre, right when cool-season forages nearly stop growing due to hydric stress. Millet has an excellent quality, with low tannins and high protein, calcium, phosphorus and digestibility levels. Additionally, preliminary [non-conclusive] results of a study conducted in Vermont evidence that its fatty acid profile is similar to that of the diverse cool-season forages in the Northeastern U.S. These benefits show up in the milk or meat of animals that graze it, delivering excellent health benefits. Millet loves heat and it is drought tolerant but can endure wet soils. It must be established in early summer (by the end of May, beginning of June), at the average rate of 20 pounds per acre. It can be potentially ready to be grazed around mid-July on. If carefully managed, it can yield two or even three grazing rotations until the first frost. Millet can be used for grazing, hay, silage or green-chop. Pasture mana

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