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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Wilson, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Timper, Patricia
item Truman, Clinton
item Dale, N
item Batal, A
item Ni, Xinzhi
item Gitaitis, R
item Mcaloon, Andrew
item Shumaker, G
item Dowling, G
item Brown, J
item Webster, Theodore
item Maas, Andrea

Submitted to: International Pearl Millet Improvement and Seed Production Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2006
Publication Date: 7/18/2006
Citation: Wilson, J.P., Timper, P., Truman, C.C., Dale, N.M., Batal, A.B., Ni, X., Gitaitis, R., McAloon, A.J., Shumaker, G., Dowling, G., Brown, J., Webster, T.M., Maas, A.L. 2006. Economics-driven research and incentives for pearl millet production in the united states. International Pearl Millet Breeding and Seed Production Workshop. ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India. May 2-6, 2006 (CD-ROM)

Interpretive Summary: The U.S. has no cultural history or traditions of growing pearl millet for grain, so it is essentially a new crop. Existing production systems, equipment availability, market infrastructure, and federal farm programs are obstacles to the introduction of new crops. Cultivation of the crop or use of the grain is a business decision based on the attributes of pearl millet for a specific production setting and use, and profitability is the ultimate measure of a sound business decision. If pearl millet is to be successful, everyone in the production-storage-utilization chain has to make money. This chapter describes pearl millet research that adds to or identifies new value that cannot be satisfied by alternatives in recreation, food production, and bioenergy markets.

Technical Abstract: Pearl millet has been grown in the U.S. for livestock forage for over 100 years. Research into grain applications was initially conducted to address environmental constraints of southeastern agro-ecosystems. Early results by growers and diverse industries in the southeastern U.S. have encouraged further development. Much of the grain is currently being sold into premium-value markets in support of the recreational wildlife and agro-tourism industries. As these local markets become saturated, increasing amounts of grain are entering the high-volume market for broiler rations. It is likely that ethanol production will be another high-volume market for the grain in the future. Expanding integration of pearl millet in U.S. production and use systems requires that the crop contributes measurable economic value or provides uses that cannot be met by alternatives. Production and use budgets are valuable guides to identify areas for research that will improve profitability for the agribusiness community.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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