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Red Proso Millet Seed

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Proso, an ancient Slav name used in Russia and Poland (Candolle 1964), has also been called common millet, hog millet, broom corn, yellow hog, Hershey, and millet. Although the origin of Proso millet has not been ascertained, it is one of the first cultivated cereal grasses, most likely prior to wheat. Proso millet has been known for many thousands of years in Eastern Asia including China, India, and Russia. The cultivation of proso is more generally thought to come from central and eastern Asia and spread to India, Russia, the Middle East, and Europe (Roshevits 1980). Proso is still extensively cultivated in India, China, Russia, in the Middle East including Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, and also in Afghanistan and Romania (Martin et al. 1976). According to Matz (1986), however, Proso is probably a native of Egypt and Arabia and has been cultivated in Asia Minor and southern Europe since prehistoric times. Candolle (1964) also states that Egypto-Arabian origin of Proso millet is very probable.

Proso millet requires very little water, possibly the lowest water requirement of any cereal, and converts water most efficiently to dry matter/grain (Theisen et al. 1978; Hulse et al. 1980). According to Arnon (1972), this is not because of its drought-resistance but because of its short growing season. Proso has a very low transpiration ratio, which may be attributed in part to the C4 photosynthetic mechanism (Martin et al. 1976). The low straw grain ratio of proso also contributes to its water use efficiency and adaptation to moisture-limited areas. Proso is very shallow rooted and does not grow well under water stress, nor under excess moisture. Plants seem to tolerate more cold than most other C4 crops, especially sorghum, but will not tolerate frosts. Moderately warm weather is necessary for germination of the seed and growth of the plant. Proso germinates well at temperatures of 10deg. to 45°C, but does not germinate below 5° or above 50°C. The highest rate of germinations is between 35° and 40°C (Theisen et al. 1978).

Space each seed approximately 2 inches apart. Make your rows at least 1 foot apart. Cover with at least 1 inch of soil.
Recommended seeding rates for Proso millet are 20 to 30 pounds of pure live seed per acre. Proso millet contains about 80,000 seeds per pound. Though decient yields have come from 10 pounds per acre, the higher seeding rates are suggested because millets are relatively poor competitors with weeds and are noted for their poor seedling vigor. (http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/crops/a805w.htm; http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingmillet.html)

The feed value of Proso has been studied with several classes of livestock. Luis et al. (1982a, b), investigated both broiler and turkey diets with Proso. The turkey poults were significantly heavier at the end of the 28 day feeding period with Proso than those on either corn or sorghum diets. Broilers fed balanced diets of the three cereals were not significantly different in gains. When Proso was evaluated in layer diets it was concluded that "proso millet, either ground or whole, is an excellent ingredient for layer diets" (Luis et al. 1982c). Kies et al. (1975) investigated various millet mixes in human diets and discussed their potential. The feed value of Proso millet for cattle and swine is generally considered to equal that of grain sorghum or milo and maize when less than 50% of the maize in the ration is replaced.  Source Purdue University

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