Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627
Give us a call at 435-283-1411
M-F 8am-5pm MST
Questions? Gives us a call at 435.283.1411 Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm.
Cover Crop / Forage: Pearl millet seed is used primarily as a cover crop for grazing, green chop and silage.
|Planting Depth:||3/8 - 1 inch|
|pH Tolerance:||5.5 - 7.5|
|Planting Time:||Spring, Summer|
Pearl millet is a warm season, erect, annual grass that can grow over 8 feet tall. It is often compared in looks and structure to a corn field. The pearl millet seed is produced on a thick cylindrical spike at the very top of the reed. Leaves are long and pointed. This crop does not produce prussic acid, however; nitrate poisoning can be a concern under certain conditions. There are approximately 60,000 seeds per pound. Using pearl millet for cover crops, summer grazing, hay production, green chop, and wildlife food plots.
Pearl millet seed is adapted throughout the United States and southern Canada but it is grown primarily in the South due to its high tolerance to drought, pathogens, acidic soils and high humidity. For pearl millet seed to perform at its best plant in moderate to well drained soils with a soil pH between 5.5 and 7.5.
Planting rates vary from 15 to 30 pounds per acre depending on whether you broadcast or drill (see table above). Planting dates are usually from May to July when there are no chances of frost. Soil temperature needs to be a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit for germination. Seeding depth should be 3/8-1 inch with 1/2 inch being the optimal depth.
Moderate fertility is suggested for optimum forage production. Although pearl millet seed will grow on lower fertility soils. Fertilize using soil test recommendations, or fertilize at similar rates to other warm season annual grass crops.
If you plan on using pearl millet seed for grazing you should begin when the plants are between 18 to 30 inches tall. The crop should be grazed down to 8 inches within 10 days. After grazing, the residue needs to be clipped to uniform height to ensure high quality forage production for the next grazing period. Do not graze after a killing frost. Wait until the plants turn completely brown (7 days) to graze again. If the plants are frost damaged, wait until the crop has regrown to be at least 18 inches high before grazing again.
Green chop harvesting should begin when the pearl millet is about 18 inches tall. Harvesting should be completed before the plants head out.
Silage should be harvested when the plants are 36-48 inches tall. The pearl millet will be in the boot to early head stage. Moisture is usually high at this stage so the plants should be allowed to partially dry in the field before ensiling.
**This cover crop seed is sold in bulk 50 pound bags.