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Millet fertilizer recommendations

Millet is important in some farm enterprises in Minnesota. Fertilizer is an important production input for optimum yields. Recommendations for nitrogen, phosphate, and potash are summarized in the tables that follow.


fertilizer N guideline

We base Nitrogen (N) fertilizer guidelines on either the results of the soil (NO3--N) test or the consideration of the combination of expected yield, previous crop, and soil organic matter content. The soil nitrate test is appropriate for western Minnesota (see Figure 1).

This is the fertilizer N guideline calculation for the soil nitrate test.

Nrec = (0.035) (EY) — STN(0-24 in.) — NPc


  • EY = expected yield (lb./acre)
  • STN = nitrate-nitrogen (NO3--N) measured to a depth of 24 in. (lb./acre)
  • Npc = amount of N supplied by the previous legume crop (lb./acre).

Table 1 summarizes these N credits.

Table 1: Nitrogen credits for various legume crops that might precede millet in a crop rotation. Use these credits for the Npc factor in situations where the soil nitrate test is used.

Previous Crop First year nitrogen credit
Soybean 20 lb. N/acre
Edible beans, field peas 10 lb. N/acre
Harvest sweetclover 10 lb. N/acre
Harvested alfalfa (four to five plants/foot squared) 75 lb. N/acre
Harvested alfalfa (two to three plants/foot squared) 50 lb. N/acre
Harvested alfalfa (one or fewer plants/foot squared) 0 lb. N/acre
Harvested red clover 35 lb. N/acre

Table 2 lists the N fertilizer guidelines for situations where the soil NO3--N test is not used. Apply the suggested rate of N fertilizer  before planting. All sources of fertilizer should have an equal effect on yield.

Crops in Group 1:

Alsike clover, birdsfoot trefoil, grass/legume hay, grass legume pasture, fallow, and red clover.

Crops in Group 2:

Barley, buckwheat, canola, corn, grass hay, grass pasture, oat, potato, rye, sorghum-sudan, sugar beet, sunflower, sweet corn, triticale, and wheat.

Phosphate and Potash

Table 3 summarizes current phosphate guidelines. Guidelines for potash are in Table 4. The guidelines listed in these tables are  for broadcast application. The sensitivity of this crop to banded application of fertilizers is not known.

CAUTION! Do not apply N as urea (46-0-0) in contact with the seed at planting. Do not apply ammonium thiosulfate (12-0-0- 26) or boron in contact with the seed.

There is no research evidence which suggests that sulfur and the micronutrients are needed for optimum production of this crop. Therefore, there is no suggestion to add these nutrients to a fertilizer program.

Dan Kaiser, Extension Soil Scientist

Reviewed in 2018

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