Foxtail millet (botanic name Setaria italica) is the second most widely planted species of millet, and the most important in East Asia. It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in China since sometime in the sixth millennium BC. Other names for foxtail millet include Italian millet, German millet, Chinese millet, and Hungarian millet.
Foxtail millet is an annual grass with slim, vertical, leafy stems which can reach a height of 120-200 cm (4-7 feet.) The seedhead is a dense, hairy panicle 5-30 cm (2-12 in.) long. The small seeds, around 2 mm (less than 1/8 in.) in diameter, are encased in a thin, papery hull which is easily removed in threshing. Seed color varies greatly between varieties.
It is a warm season crop, typically planted in late spring. Harvest for hay or silage can be made in 65-70 days (typical yield is 15,000-20,000 kg/ha of green matter or 3,000-4,000 kg/ha of hay), and for grain in 75-90 days (typical yield is 800-900 kg/ha of grain). Its early maturity and efficient use of available water make it suitable for raising in dry areas.
Diseases of foxtail millet include leaf and head blast disease caused by Magnaporthe grisea, smut disease caused by Ustilago crameri, and green ear caused by Sclerospora graminicola. The unharvested crop is also susceptible to attack by birds and rodents.
Foxtail millet arrived in Europe later; carbonized seeds first appear in the second millennium BC in central Europe. The earliest definite evidence for its cultivation in the Near East is at the Iron Age levels at Tille Hoyuk in Turkey, with an uncorrected radiocarbon date of about 600 BC.
Genetic diversity in the foxtail millet (Setaria italica) germplasm as determined by agronomic traits and microsatellite markers
Mar 31, 2012; Abstract Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv. is a model plant that attracts international attention, which is the second most widely...
Genetic structure of landraces in foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) revealed with transposon display and interpretation to crop evolution of foxtail millet.(Report)
Jun 01, 2012; Introduction Foxtail millet, Setaria italica subsp. italica (L.) P. Beauv., is one of the oldest cereals in Eurasia....
Development and Utilization of Novel Intron Length Polymorphic Markers in Foxtail Millet [Setaria Italica (L.) P. Beauv.)
Jul 01, 2011; Introduction Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.) is an important food grain crop in temperate, subtropical, and...