Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 July 2017
Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is grown as a forage, cover and grain crop in Brazil. Historically, forage production has the most important use, but during the last 30 years, the use as a cover crop in no-till soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] production systems has expanded greatly and is currently used on over 5 million ha. Grain production as livestock feed is presently of minor importance but expanding. This review cites 125 references and documents pearl millet research conducted in Brazil which is largely published in Portuguese. The review addresses recommended pearl millet production practices for different uses, including stand establishment, row spacing and plant population, fertiliser and pest management, and the use of pearl millet in rotation and as a cover crop between soybean or maize (Zea mays L.) production to reduce crop losses from nematode infestation. It is concluded that greater research investment in crop improvement, fertiliser and pest management, nematode management, and forage/grain utilisation is needed to fully take advantage of pearl millet to meet feed, food and soil improvement needs in Brazil. In addition, creation of a database on pearl millet production, marketing and utilisation to assist farmers and grain merchandisers, and increased extension programming on pearl millet production is needed.
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