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Pearl Millet

  • Variety :
    • Okashana I
    • Pearl Millet (pennisetum glaucum)
  • Description :
    • A drought tolerant small grain cereal used for both human food and livestock feeding
  • Climate :
    • Sub tropical/ tropical
  • Moisture requirement :
    • 250mm + required over growing period
  • Soil preference :
    • Widely adapted to moist soil conditions
    • Does particularly well in sandy soils
  • Sowing rate :
    • 5kg per ha where rainfall is < 500mm per annum
    • 5 - 15kg per ha where rainfall is > 500mm per annum
    • 75- 90cm rows are preferable
  • Planting time :
    • Nov - Dec where soil temperatures are approx. 18 deg C
    • Production is only limited due to occurrence of frost
  • Planting method :
    • Plant on a fine well prepared seed bed at a depth of +- 2cm
  • Management :
    • Pearl Millet does respond well to soil fertility, however does not have a high nutrient demand
    • Responsive to manure applications
    • Nitrogen application if 50 -70N per ha is recommended if and when possible
    • On very sandy soils where rainfall exceeds 500mm per annum, it is advisable to split the N application
    • Apply half at 4 weeks after emergence and the balance, 4 weeks prior to flowering
    • P and K applications should be based on a soil analysis or otherwise follow recommendations that apply to
    • Sorghum in any one region
    • Some Pearl Millet varieties have good nematode resistance
    • Rotate with Soya bean or Ground nuts Generally very few pests and disease are of economic significance when producing Pearl Millet
    • To avoid grain loss, harvest as early as plant dry-down allows
  • Advantages :
    • Okashana I is an early maturing variety +- 85-95 days
    • Has good resistance to aphids and common leaf diseases
    • Organic production methods are well suited to the small scale farmer
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