Red Proso Millet Revisited

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May 5, 2008
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Last spring I was watching Pairie Farm Report, when they started talking about red proso millet. At first I wasn't very interested in it until they talked about all the benefits that it had. Red proso millet has a very short growing season, about 60 days it can be cut for feed, it can handle drought conditions really well and so on. But what really got my attention was how high it could grow, 3 - 6 feet tall and also how it can handle getting rained on for long periods of time before it even shows a sign of getting black. This is because of a waxy coating that covers the leaves and stock of the plant. The only problem with this waxy coating is it affect the drying time but at the same time excellent for swath grazing. The price was also a eye catcher, only $0.40 a pound.




German Millet (on left) Proso Millet (on right)
Hairy Hill, Alberta - September 2003. Photo by Ted Grekul

I decided to seed about 3 acres of proso millet @ 15 pds/acre. I broad casted on June 1 and harrowed it into the soil. It seem to take for ever for the plants to grow from 1" tall ( atleast a month) but boy when they started to grow, they grew! ( about 1-2 inches a day) When I went to cut it, it was just alittle under 5 feet. Ididn't have any problems drying it, about 3 days I baled it up @ 12% moisture. I were really happy with the yeilds that I got from it. I baled it with a JD 535 baler and averaged 2.5 bales/acre. The cows really love it, they ate the millet bale before even touching the alfalfa, cleaned it right up with out a trace. This year I am going to plant about about 45 acres of red proso @ 30 pds/acre.

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