|Pearl Millet Hybrids for Forage
Tifleaf 3 is a high quality leafy pearl millet hybrid developed by USDA-ARS at Tifton, GA. The production and commercialization if Tifleaf 3 is protected by Plant Variety Protection. It shows more resistance to rust than Tifleaf 2, one of the two major diseases on pearl millet in the United States. Tifleaf 3 matures later than most tall hybrids and will reach a height of about six feet if not defoliated. Heifers grazing Tifleaf 3 gained 412 lbs/acre compared to 345 lbs/acre for Tifleaf 2. Higher yields can be expected from Tifleaf 3 compared to Tifleaf 2 when there is moderate rust infection and from later plantings. It is important to specify Tifleaf 3 seed from your seed dealer. Most other cultivars are not as good as Tifleaf 3.
Major advantages of pearl millet as a summer annual forage:
1. High forage quality.
2. No prussic acid production.
3. High drought tolerance.
Tifleaf 3 can be planted when soil temperates are above 70 degrees. Per acre seeding rates of 10 lbs. in 36-inch rows, 15 lbs. In 24-inch rows, or 25 lbs in 7-inch grain drill rows should give good yields. Forage yields are usually reduced with later plantings in the summer (as with all summer annual grasses). Tifleaf 3 can be grazed when it is 15 to 18 inches tall. Use a stocking rate to maintain a 9 to12 inch stubble. It can be cut for hay when it is 2 to 3 feet tall.
Wayne W. Hanna