|Pearl Millet Hybrids for Grain
Pearl millet has been an important forage crop in the U.S. for over 50 years. In the late 1980s we began developing dwarf parents to produce grain hybrids. Over 50 million acres of pearl millet are grown for grain in Africa and India because of its drought tolerance, high quality grain, and its ability to produce grain under the most stressed growing conditions. Hybrids developed for the U.S. will have several advantages:
|--high grain yield under non-irrigated and drought conditions in acidic soils.
--high grain and protein quality, with feeding value similar to corn.
--Insignificant pre-harvest aflatoxin and other mycotoxins.
--relatively low production cost.
--well-suited for double-cropping and rotations.
HGM 100 was released in the early 1990s. Substantial acreage was planted and most farmers were successful, even though it was a new crop. In the time HGM 100 was grown we learned many things about harvesting and pricing. This hybrid is no longer available on the market.
TifGrain 102 represents a new generation of pearl millet hybrids for grain. This hybrid is shorter, earlier maturing, and has slightly larger grain and greater ease of combining. In addition, it has resistance to southern and peanut root knot nematodes and better rust resistance. Hybrid seed was available to farmers on a limited basis beginning in 2002. This new hybrid can produce high quality grain without irrigation in Georgia and throughout the southern Coastal Plain and into the Great Plains states.
Tools for Growers
Growing the new crop is not difficult. As with any crop, paying attention to details gives better results.
Can you make a profit growing grain pearl millet? This spreadsheet will help you to estimate the economics of the crop.
W. Hanna and J. Wilson
last revised June, 2002