Millet, foxtail

foxtail milletFoxtail millet (Chinese: 小米; botanic name Setaria italica, synonym Panicum italicum L.) is the second-most widely planted species of millet, and the most important in East Asia. It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in China since sometime in the sixth millennium BC. Other names for the species include dwarf setaria, foxtail bristle-grass, giant setaria, green foxtail, Italian millet, German millet, and Hungarian millet.

In South India, it has been a staple diet among people for a long time from the sangam period. It is popularly quoted in the old Tamil texts and is commonly associated with Lord Muruga and his consort Valli.

In China, foxtail millet is the most common millet and one of the main food crops, especially among the poor in the dry northern part of that country. In Europe and North America it is planted at a moderate scale for hay and silage, and to a more limited extent for birdseed.

It is a warm season crop, typically planted in late spring. Harvest for hay or silage can be made in 65–70 days (typical yield is 15,000-20,000 kg/ha of green matter or 3,000-4,000 kg/ha of hay), and for grain in 75–90 days (typical yield is 800–900 kg/ha of grain). Its early maturity and efficient use of available water make it suitable for raising in dry areas. (Source: Wikipedia)

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