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Millets are some of the oldest of cultivated crops. The term millet is applied to various grass crops whose seeds are harvested for food or feed. The five millet species of commercial importance are proso, foxtail, barnyard, browntop and pearl. In China, records of culture for foxtail and proso millet extend back to 2000 to 1000 BC Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) probably originated in southern Asia and is the oldest of the cultivated millets. It is also known as Italian or German Millet. Its culture slowly spread westward towards Europe.

--  Alternative Field Crops Manual


  1. Finger millet is a short, annual grass to 1 m in height, grown for its small grains that are usually ground into flour for porridge. More drought tolerant than maize or sorghum, finger millet is also higher in protein, fat and minerals than those crops.
  2. Proso millet is an erect, tillering, annual grass, growing to 1 m in height, that is grown for the small seeds used for human consumption and livestock food. Proso millet was one of the earliest cultivated grains in the world. It is fairly drought tolerant and has a short growing season.
  3. Pearl millet is an annual, tillering grass, growing to 4 m in height, and more drought tolerant than maize. The seed head is compact, cylindrical and up to 30 cm long. The grains are ground into flour for preparation of porridge, flat breads and fermented products. Pearl millet is widely grown...
  4. Foxtail millet is an annual grass crop, up to 1.5 m in height, and one of the most water efficient (250-300 mm per crop), short term (60-70 days), warm weather crops which can be used as a “catch” crop, planted after another crop has failed. The grain can be cooked whole or ground into flour....
  5. Pearl millet,Pennisetum glaucum, is an annual grass in the family Poaceae which is grown widely in Africa and India for its grain which can be used to make flour and other foodstuffs. Pearl millet is a very robust grass which tillers widely and grows in tufts. It has slender stems which are...
  6. 05-03-2019 View a how-to video for using natural enemies against the devastating millet head miner. Factsheet
  7. 19-01-1996 The parasiticweed Striga hermonthica is a major problem in African millet fields. International Agricultural Development (Jan/Feb 1994) reports that dense intercropping of cowpea in millet stands can reduce Striga emergence.
  8. 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...
  9. 20-11-2018 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,...