Submitted to: Proceedings of Central American Congress of Forage Sorghum and Millet
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2005
Publication Date: 11/16/2005
Citation: Wilson, J.P. 2005. Does forage pearl millet have a place in production systems of Central America? In: Proceedings of Central American Regional Workshop on Forage Sorghum and Millet, November 16-18, 2005, San Miguel, El Salvador. 2005 CDROM. .
Interpretive Summary: not required
Technical Abstract: Pearl millet is a robust and freely-tillering, cross-pollinating annual that is traditionally grown in environments with low rainfall and sandy soils with low fertility. Open-pollinated varieties are used for both grain and fodder production in more marginal environments. Cultivation is spreading to more productive environments with specialized needs. In these regions, different hybrids are used for either forage or grain production. Pearl millet may have a place in some production settings in El Salvador and neighboring Central American countries, particularly during the dry season. It produces a high quality fodder that can be grazed or stored as hay. Additional applications such as soil conservation and grain production may be secondary benefits to crop use. Highest research priorities would include identifying superior germplasm for different production settings and altitudes. Evaluation for biomass production alone is not a sufficient selection criterion, since livestock performance on forage is affected by factors such as photoperiod sensitivity, height, leafiness, regrowth capacity, responsiveness to fertilizers, and disease resistance.