Proso millet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Proso millet
Mature Proso Millet Panicles.jpg
Proso millet panicles
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Genus: Panicum
P. miliaceum
Binomial name
Panicum miliaceum
  • Leptoloma miliacea (L.) Smyth
  • Milium esculentum Moench nom. illeg.
  • Milium panicum Mill. nom. illeg.
  • Panicum asperrimum Fisch.
  • Panicum asperrimum Fischer ex Jacq.
  • Panicum densepilosum Steud.
  • Panicum milium Pers. nom. illeg.
  • Panicum ruderale (Kitag.) D.M.Chang
  • Panicum spontaneum Zhuk. nom. inval.

Panicum miliaceum is a grain crop with many common names including proso millet,[2] broomcorn millet,[2] common millet,[2] hog millet,[2] Kashfi millet,[2] red millet,[2] and white millet.[2] Archeological evidence suggests that the crop was first domesticated before 10,000 BCE in Northern China.[3] The crop is extensively cultivated in China, India, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Middle East, Turkey, Romania, and the United States, where about half a million acres are grown each year.[4] The crop is notable both for its extremely short lifespan, with some varieties producing grain only 60 days after planting,[5] and its low water requirements, producing grain more efficiently per unit of moisture than any other grain species tested.[5][6] The name "proso millet" comes from the pan-Slavic general and generic name for millet (Croatian: proso, Serbian: просо). Proso millet is a relative of foxtail millet, pearl millet, maize, and sorghum within the grass subfamily Panicoideae. While all of these crops use C4 photosynthesis, the others all employ the NADP-ME as their primary carbon shuttle pathway, while the primary C4 carbon shuttle in proso millet is the NAD-ME pathway.

Evolutionary history[edit]

Panicum miliaceum is a tetraploid species with a base chromosome number of 18, twice the base chromosome number of diploid species within the genome Panicum.[7] The species appears to be an allotetraploid resulting from a wide hybrid between two different diploid ancestors.[8] One of the two subgenomes within proso millet appears to have come from either Panicum capillare or a close relative of that species. The second subgenome does not show close homology to any known diploid Panicum species, but some unknown diploid ancestor apparently also contributed a copy of its genome to a separate allotetraploid species Panicum repens (torpedo grass).[8] The two subgenomes within proso millet are estimated to have diverged 5.6 million years ago.[9] However, the species has experienced only limited amounts of fractionation and copies of most genes are still retained on both subgenomes.[9] A sequenced version of the proso millet genome, estimated to be around 920 megabases in size, was published in 2019.[9]

Domestication and history of cultivation[edit]

Map of the world showing approximate centers of origin of agriculture and its spread in prehistory: the Fertile Crescent (11,000 BP), the Yangtze and Yellow River basins (9,000 BP), and the New Guinea Highlands (9,000–6,000 BP), Central Mexico (5,000–4,000 BP), Northern South America (5,000–4,000 BP), sub-Saharan Africa (5,000–4,000 BP, exact location unknown), eastern North America (4,000–3,000 BP).[10]

Weedy forms of proso millet are found throughout central Asia, covering a widespread area from the Caspian Sea east to Xinjiang and Mongolia. These may represent the wild progenitor of proso millet or feral escapes from domesticated production.[11] Indeed, in the United States, weedy proso millet, representing feral escapes from cultivation, are now common, suggesting current proso millet cultivars retain the potential to revert, similar to the pattern seen for weedy rice.[12] Currently, the earliest archeological evidence for domesticated proso millet comes from the Cishan site in semiarid north east China around 10,000 BCE.[3] Because early varieties of proso millet had such a short lifecycle, as little as 45 days from planting to harvest, they are thought to have made it possible for seminomadic tribes to first adopt agriculture, forming a bridge between hunter-gatherer-focused lifestyles and early agricultural civilizations.[13] Archaeological evidence for cultivation of domesticated proso millet in east Asia and Europe dates to at least 5,000 BCE in Georgia and Germany (near Leipzig, Hadersleben) by Linear Pottery culture (Early LBK, Neolithikum 5500–4900 BCE),[14] and may represent either an independent domestication of the same wild ancestor, or the spread of the crop from east Asia along trade routes through the arid steppes.[15] Evidence for cultivation in southern Europe and the Near East is comparatively more recent, with the earliest evidence for its cultivation in the Near East a find in the ruins of Nimrud, Iraq, dated to about 700 BC.[16]


Proso millet is a relatively low-demanding crop and diseases are not known; consequently, it is often used in organic farming systems in Europe. In the United States, it is often used as an intercrop. Thus, proso millet can help to avoid a summer fallow, and continuous crop rotation can be achieved. Its superficial root system and its resistance to atrazine residue make proso millet a good intercrop between two water- and pesticide-demanding crops. The stubbles of the last crop, by allowing more heat into the soil, result in a faster and earlier millet growth. While millet occupies the ground, because of its superficial root system, the soil can replenish its water content for the next crop. Later crops, for example, a winter wheat, can in turn benefit from the millet stubble, which act as snow accumulators.[17]

Climate and soil requirements[edit]

Due to its C4 photosynthetic system, proso millet is thermophilic like maize, so shady locations of the field should be avoided. It is sensitive to cold temperatures lower than 10 to 13°C. Proso millet is highly drought-resistant, which makes it of interest to regions with low water availability and longer periods without rain.[18][19] The soil should be light or medium-heavy. Due to its flat root systems, soil compaction must be avoided. Furthermore, proso millet does not tolerate soil wetness caused by dammed-up water.[19]

Seedbed and sowing[edit]

The seedbed should be finely crumbled as for sugar beet and rapeseed.[18] In Europe, proso millet is sowed between mid-April and the end of May. About 500g per acre of seeds are required, which is roughly 500 grains/m22. In organic farming, this amount should be increased if a harrow weeder is used. For sowing, the usual sowing machines can be used similarly to how they are used for other crops like wheat. A distance between the rows of 16 to 25 cm is recommended if the farmer uses an interrow cultivator. The sowing depth should be 1.5 to 2 cm in optimal soil or 3 to 4 cm in dry soil. Rolling of the ground after sowing is helpful for further cultivation.[18] Cultivation in no-till farming systems is also possible and often practiced in the United States. Sowing then can be done two weeks later.[17]

White Proso Millet

Field management[edit]

Only a few diseases and pests are known to attack proso millet, but they are not economically important. Weeds are a bigger problem. The critical phase is in juvenile development. The formation of the grains happens in the 3- to 5-leaf stadium. After that, all nutrients should be available for the millet, so preventing the growth of weeds is necessary. In conventional farming, herbicides may be used. In organic farming, harrow weeder or interrow cultivator use is possile, but special sowing parameters are needed.[18] For good crop development, fertilization with 50 to 75 kg nitrogen per hectare is recommended.[19] Planting proso millet in a crop rotation after maize should be avoided due to its same weed spectrum. Because proso millet is an undemanding crop, it may be used at the end of the rotation.[18]

Harvesting and post-harvest treatments[edit]

Harvest time is at the end of August until mid-September. Determining the best harvest date is not easy because all the grains do not ripen simultaneously. The grains on the top of the panicle ripen first, while the grains in the lower parts need more time, making compromise and harvest necessary to optimize yield.[18] Harvesting can be done with a conventional combine harvester with moisture content of the grains around 15-20%. Usually, proso millet is mowed into windrows first, since the plants are not dry like wheat. There, they can wither, which makes the threshing easier. Then the harvest is done with a pickup attached to a combine.[18] Possible yields are between 2.5 and 4.5 tons per hectare under optimal conditions. Studies in Germany showed that even higher yields can be attained.[18]

United States[edit]

About half of the millet grown in the United States is grown in eastern Colorado on 340,000 acres. Historically grown as animal and bird seed, as of 2020, it has found a market as an organic gluten-free grain.[20]


Gijang-bap (proso millet rice)

Proso millet is one of the few types of millet not cultivated in Africa.[21] In the United States, former Soviet Union, and some South American countries, it is primarily grown for livestock feed. As a grain fodder, it is very deficient in lysine and needs complementation. Proso millet is also a poor fodder due to its low leaf-to-stem ratio and a possible irritant effect due to its hairy stem. Foxtail millet, having a higher leaf-to-stem ratio and less hairy stems, is preferred as fodder, particularly the variety called moha, which is a high-quality fodder.

To promote millet cultivation, other potential uses have been considered recently.[22] For example, starch derived from millets has been shown to be a good substrate for fermentation and malting with grains having similar starch contents as wheat grains.[22] A recently published study suggested that starch derived from proso millet can be converted to ethanol with an only moderately lower efficiency than starch derived from corn.[23] The development of varieties with highly fermentable characteristics could improve ethanol yield to that of highly fermentable corn.[23] Since proso millet is compatible with low-input agriculture, cultivation on marginal soils for biofuel production could represent an important new market, such as for farmers in the High Plains of the US.[23] The demand for more diverse and healthier cereal-based foods is increasing, particularly in affluent countries.[24] This could create new markets for proso millet products in human nutrition. Protein content in proso millet grains is comparable with that of wheat, but the share of essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and methionine) is substantially higher in proso millet.[24] In addition, health-promoting phenolic compounds contained in the grains are readily bioaccessible and their high calcium content favors bone strengthening and dental health.[24] Among the most commonly consumed products are ready-to-eat breakfast cereals made purely from millet flour, [18][24] as well as a variety of noodles and bakery products, which are, however, often produced from mixtures with wheat flour to improve their sensory quality.[24]


Names for proso millet in other languages spoken in the countries where it is cultivated include:


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Panicum miliaceum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b Lu, H.; Zhang, J.; Liu, K.-b.; Wu, N.; Li, Y.; Zhou, K.; Ye, M.; Zhang, T.; Zhang, H.; Yang, X.; Shen, L.; Xu, D.; Li, Q. (21 April 2009). "Earliest domestication of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) in East Asia extended to 10,000 years ago". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (18): 7367–7372. Bibcode:2009PNAS..106.7367L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0900158106. PMC 2678631. PMID 19383791.
  4. ^ "USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Service Homepage".
  5. ^ a b Graybosch, R. A.; Baltensperger, D. D. (February 2009). "Evaluation of the waxy endosperm trait in proso millet". Plant Breeding. 128 (1): 70–73. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0523.2008.01511.x.
  6. ^ Lyman James Briggs; Homer LeRoy Shantz (1913). The water requirement of plants. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 29–.
  7. ^ Aliscioni, Sandra S.; Giussani, Liliana M.; Zuloaga, Fernando O.; Kellogg, Elizabeth A. (May 2003). "A molecular phylogeny of (Poaceae: Paniceae): tests of monophyly and phylogenetic placement within the Panicoideae". American Journal of Botany. 90 (5): 796–821. doi:10.3732/ajb.90.5.796. PMID 21659176.
  8. ^ a b Hunt, H. V.; Badakshi, F.; Romanova, O.; Howe, C. J.; Jones, M. K.; Heslop-Harrison, J. S. P. (10 April 2014). "Reticulate evolution in Panicum (Poaceae): the origin of tetraploid broomcorn millet, P. miliaceum". Journal of Experimental Botany. 65 (12): 3165–3175. doi:10.1093/jxb/eru161. PMC 4071833. PMID 24723408.
  9. ^ a b c Zou, Changsong; Li, Leiting; Miki, Daisuke; Li, Delin; Tang, Qiming; Xiao, Lihong; Rajput, Santosh; Deng, Ping; Peng, Li; Jia, Wei; Huang, Ru; Zhang, Meiling; Sun, Yidan; Hu, Jiamin; Fu, Xing; Schnable, Patrick S.; Chang, Yuxiao; Li, Feng; Zhang, Hui; Feng, Baili; Zhu, Xinguang; Liu, Renyi; Schnable, James C.; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Zhang, Heng (25 January 2019). "The genome of broomcorn millet". Nature Communications. 10 (1): 436. Bibcode:2019NatCo..10..436Z. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-08409-5. PMC 6347628. PMID 30683860.
  10. ^ Diamond, J.; Bellwood, P. (2003). "Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions" (PDF). Science. 300 (5619): 597–603. Bibcode:2003Sci...300..597D. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1078208. PMID 12714734. S2CID 13350469.
  11. ^ Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf, Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition (Oxford: University Press, 2000), p. 83
  12. ^ THURBER, CARRIE S.; REAGON, MICHAEL; GROSS, BRIANA L.; OLSEN, KENNETH M.; JIA, YULIN; CAICEDO, ANA L. (August 2010). "Molecular evolution of shattering loci in U.S. weedy rice". Molecular Ecology. 19 (16): 3271–3284. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04708.x. PMC 2988683. PMID 20584132.
  13. ^ "This Ancient Grain May Have Helped Humans Become Farmers".
  14. ^ Udelgard Körber-Grohne: Nutzpflanzen in Deutschland: Kulturgeschichte und Biologie, Verlag Theiss, 1987, ISBN 3-8062-0481-0
  15. ^ Hunt, H. V.; Badakshi, F.; Romanova, O.; Howe, C. J.; Jones, M. K.; Heslop-Harrison, J. S. P. (10 April 2014). "Reticulate evolution in Panicum (Poaceae): the origin of tetraploid broomcorn millet, P. miliaceum". Journal of Experimental Botany. 65 (12): 3165–3175. doi:10.1093/jxb/eru161. PMC 4071833. PMID 24723408.
  16. ^ Zohary and Hopf, Domestication, p. 86
  17. ^ a b Producing and marketing proso millet in the great plains, U. Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i Merkblatt für den Anbau von Rispenhirse im biologischen Landbau,, (23.11.14)
  19. ^ a b c Pearl Millet and Other Millets, Wayne W. Hanna, David D. Baltensperger, Annadana Seetharam (2004)
  20. ^ Daliah Singer (July 30, 2020). "Colorado's hottest grain is gluten-free, nutrient-dense, great in beer and about to be your new fav pantry staple Colorado produces the most millet in the country. But what exactly is it?". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  21. ^ National Research Council (1996-02-14). "Ebony". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains. Lost Crops of Africa. 1. National Academies Press. p. 260. doi:10.17226/2305. ISBN 978-0-309-04990-0. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  22. ^ a b Rose, D.J., Santra, D.K., 2013. Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) fermentation for fuel ethanol production. Industrial Crops and Products 43, p. 602-605.
  23. ^ a b c Taylor, J.R.N.; Schober, T.J.; Bean, S.R. (2006). "Novel food and non-food uses for sorghum and millets". Journal of Cereal Science. 44 (3): 252–271. doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2006.06.009.
  24. ^ a b c d e Saleh, A.S.M., Zhang, Q., Chen, J., Shen, Q., 2012. Millet Grains: Nutritional Quality, Processing, and Potential Health Benefits. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 12, p. 281-295.

External links[edit]