Brown Top Millet is an ideal warm-season cover crop for suppressing and reducing weed pressure during the warmer months. Millet is a tall, bunching grass that can get up to 12 feet high. Because it is a bunching grass, it forms a “mat” over the soil and provides excellent ground cover. This ground cover works great for weed suppression during the warmer months when weed pressure is highest. Brown Top Millet matures in 60-70 days, making it a very fast-growing cover crop. Because it grows so fast, it is able to grow faster than the weeds that it is being used to suppress.
Millet is an ideal cover crop for soils with low moisture, low fertility, and in areas with high temperatures. It is very tolerable of hot, dry conditions. It performs best in sandy loam soils but can be great for adding nutrients to sandy soils which are nutrient-deficient. As “green manure”, millet can add significant amounts of organic matter to depleted soils, improving tilth and soil quality. While growing, millet will improve water absorption and retention in fast-draining soils.
Brown Top Millet germinates best in soil temperatures at least 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Millet may be planted with a broadcast spreader or a precision planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. Although it can be planted in late spring, it works great as a transition between spring and fall crops. We suggest planting after spring crops are finished and incorporating into soils before fall crops are planted. As with most cover crops, they should be mowed or cut before going to seed. This will prevent the cover crop from becoming a weed issue in the future. Millet may be mowed or grazed by livestock. Once cut, it can be incorporated into the soil as “green manure” or left on top of the soil to continue suppressing weeds.
Brown Top Millet Planting Information:
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seeding Rate: 1 lb per 1,000 sq. ft.
Cover Crop Recommendation Chart