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Pearl millet is one of the most drought resistant grains in commercial production. It is able to grow in areas that experience frequent periods of dry weather during either the vegetative or reproductive phases.

Pearl millet appears to be more tolerant of sandy and acidic soils than other summer grain crops. It is deep-rooted and can use residual nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and, therefore, may not need the levels of fertility required by other summer grains.  These characteristics enhance pearl millet's desirability in lower input dryland production systems.