Millets, also known as Bajra, are one of the ancient crops of mankind. It is a widely grown cereal crop over the globe. It packs a tremendous amount of nutrients that make it a whole-meal crop.
Millet in our country has been used as a full-meal crop for thousands of years. In addition, this crop was consumed in the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation (3300 to 1300 BCE).
Its several health benefits prevent heart, cholesterol, digestive health, and many more, making it a superfood for people. In addition, India is the largest country to produce millet, with over 1,09,10,000 tonnes per year.
So, let us know more about this superfood crop.
Table of Contents
How to Prepare Your Land for Millet Farming
Millets are a group of highly variable small-seed grasses. It mainly grows in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
Millet crops require well-drained loamy soils. You must also ensure the ph level is between 5.5-7.5. For the preparation of the land, it is also important for organic matter, such as compost manure, to spread across the farm. All these methods improve soil health, making it perfect for millet cultivation. You can check out the Shaktiman rotavator, which is best for the land preparation phase.
After that, the soil preparation and the millets seeds sowing start. The millets should be treated with Agrosan G.N. or Thiram at 2.5g/Kg of seed for seeding. It is planted at an optimum depth of 3-4 cm. It is important to note that the soil should always be moist.
For Millet farming, ploughing the land becomes mandatory 4 to 5 times with a soil-turning plough in rainfed areas as the crops grow best with well-drained loamy soil. Along with this, you should keep checking the health of the soil.
This can be done by taking a sample of your farm soil to the lab to get soil nutrients tested. Then the test results will help you determine the correct requirements to improve your crop’s quality and production.
Millets are normally grown as rainfed, but irrigating significantly increases production. Therefore, irrigating the farm at every crucial step, like tillering, flowering, and grain filling stage, is important.
But as we know, the most common irrigation method is flood irrigation. It serves the best as it is a rainfed crop. Once in a while, flood irrigation is the best method for improving crop production and crop quality.
Seedbed preparation for the millet crop is the same as spring-seeded small grains. However, as it is known, millets are planted late in the season. Therefore, it gets important for you to perform ploughing and weed control on the farm.
This is important as the crop needs a seedbed to be firm and well-worked. A rotavator is best for this job. As this implement breaks up the soil during the land preparation. Along with this, it also helps in preparing seedbeds for the sowing phase.
This raises the question of which rotavator to go for and what’s best for seedbed preparation. For this, you can check out Shaktiman Rotavator. This implement is among the farmer’s most popular choices and easily gets your job done.
Climate Conditions and the perfect time for sowing
Millets are mainly cultivated as a cereal crop. Also, it is a rainfed crop, which means it requires preferably warm climate conditions for germination and development of the crop.
It is cultivated mainly from planting season in mid-June to mid-July. Also, this crop is usually cultivated as a catch crop in some parts. This means it helps the farmland where other crops fail due to unfavourable weather conditions.
For the best crop cultivation, you should maintain a soil temperature of 20 to 30-degree celsius.
Steps to Improve Millet Farming
Weeding in millet farming gets crucial as it is a small-seeded grasses crop. Therefore, with the help of weeding, you can prevent the product from being malnutrition due to the unwanted weeds that grow on the farm.
Therefore, at the initial growth stage of the millet crop, you should create the proper weed management system to prevent weeds from growing. Then, take one or two weeding operations to keep the farm free from weeds.
Some diseases like head smut, kernel smut, and grain mould can be a problem in millet farming. To tackle this, you will need to take some seed treatment procedures.
Along with this, crop control is also an effective treatment that helps improve the crop’s health. Some crops that can help you with the crop rotation method are groundnut, cotton, castor and sometimes rice.
Harvesting of Millet crops
Millets get ready for harvest when seeds in the upper half get mature. Some indications of green leaves and stems may not seem to be, but they are prepared to be harvested.
Millets are generally harvested through swathing, allowing the crop to dry before combining. It is a crucial process; if done early, it can result in low production and quality. But, kept too long, it can result in shattering and lodging.
Now to harvest millets, you can use some mechanised harvest to fasten the process and gather the best quality of food to increase your profits. For this, you can check out Combine harvester, which helps in your harvesting procedure with increased efficiency.
In conclusion, millet is an important crop with numerous health benefits. It is also known as an ancient cereal crop, with its root from 3300 – 1300 BCE. Therefore, proper soil preparation with its climate condition is essential as it helps to grow and develop the crop in its initial stage.
Along with this, several steps li,e proper irrigation methods, disease control, weeding, harvesting and crop rotation, are required to improve crop health.
In any condition where you can’t find a way, it is important to consult a farming expert for the best practices and specific recommendations for your farm. This will help you learn about the steps and tools in millet farming to help you with successful and profitable agriculture.