- Large seed.
- Easy to harvest, handle and sow.
- Can be drilled into moist soil.
- Good emergence from depth, to 50 mm.
- Relatively easy to establish on black cracking-clay
- Vigorous seedlings.
- High growth rate.
- Salt tolerant.
- Suitable for silage.
- Needs moderate to high fertility.
- Seedlings slow in early stage below 20oC.
- Intolerant of waterlogging.
- A little coarse for hay.
Stems: Stems erect, 150-300 cm long, 10-20 mm diameter. Nodes are bearded and slightly swollen. Nodes can produce adventitious roots. Above each node is a shallow groove containing a bud.
Leaves: Ligule is a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades are flat, 50-100 cm long and 8-70 mm wide.
Seedhead: Seedhead is a compact, cylindrical spike-like panicle.
Seeds: Wedge-shaped seeds are 3-4 mm long and colour depends on variety. About 187,000 seeds/kg.
Pasture type and use
Where it grows
It is adapted to fertile loams to heavy cracking clays.
It grows during the warm season and tops are killed by heavy frost.
Sowing/planting rates as single species
Sowing/planting rates in mixtures
It is sown from spring to late summer.
100 kg N/ha after grazing will increase late season production.
20 t/ha DM has been produced from good stands with sufficient moisture and fertiliser.
Ability to spread
There is little chance of spread.
It has negligible weed potential.
Helicoverpa spp. can damage developing heads and should be controlled in seed crops.
Head mould and ergot can reduce seed yield.
It is killed by glyphosate and is tolerant of atrazine.
Reduced palatability is sometimes observed in droughted crops.
At Katherine NT wet season grazing by beef cattle at a stocking rate of 2.5 beasts/ha produced a liveweight gain of 102 kg per head in 20-24 weeks. Cattle grazing standing pearl millet in the dry season made an average liveweight gain of 269 kg/ha over 16 weeks during a period when animals grazing natural pasture lost weight.
No known problems except unpalatability in some droughted crops.
ES004 possible commercial release spring 2011
ES006 possible commercial release spring 2011