Wonderleaf Millet is a warm season annual, similar to Sudangrass, with no prussic acid. While dry matter production can be up to 20 percent less than Sudangrass, millet usually has better digestibility and protein. Also, millet has smaller seeds, thus a lower seeding rate. Millet needs a soil temperature of 65 degrees or more to germinate, and growth slows down when cool weather arrives in the fall. Frost kills it, but it can still be grazed with no fear of prussic acid.
It needs good seed-to-soil contract and it’s not as competitive with existing grass as Sudangrass. Like Sudan, it can use lots of Nitrogen.
Wonderleaf millet will grow a little bushier and not as tall as Sudan. Start grazing at 12 inches, but make sure the roots are not being pulled up. It should not be allowed to grow taller than 3 feet (or it will lose palatability), and do not graze lower than 6 inches to allow better regrowth.
Suggested seeding rates: Drill 20-25 lbs/acre for the Midwest.
Approx. seeds/lb.: 80,000-110,000
Seeding depth: Seed ½ to 1″ deep in a firm seedbed.
Preferred soils: Performs best on fertile, well-drained soils but performs on most soil types.
Establishment: Wonderleaf millet should be planted in early summer when soil temps are 60+ degrees and rising. Apply 60 lbs. of N/acre at seeding.
Management suggestions: Can be grazed or cut after plants reach a height of 18-24″. Harvest before plants reach 36″ in height and leave a higher stubble 6-8″ for better regrowth. Apply 40-45 units of N/acre after harvest.