Grain sorghum(Sorghum bicolor)and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)are both globally important warm-season,annual cereal grain crops.Small-scale farmers who grow these grains can belimited by access to fertilizers and human labor. Agricultural low input systems use few commercial inputs, alternative nutrient sources, and weed suppression methods that can save labor.
Living mulch is a cover crop that is not killed before planting the target crop. Instead, it is maintained as a ground cover throughout and between growing seasons. Perennial rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata; PP) is a warm-season, nitrogen-fixing legume used as a living mulch in citrus and vegetable production systems. A stand of PP is low-growing and can remain established for many years, so it is a good living mulch candidate.
When multiple plants exist in an agricultural system, species compete for limited sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. Selecting a seedbed preparation method to suppress PP living mulch before planting sorghum or millet is a vital planning step to reduce competition and improve grain yields.