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Japanese millet

Paisa, or Japanese millet, is a forage crop related to annual cereal (bluegrass) grasses.

Japanese millet (Echinochloa frumentacea)
Japanese millet (Echinochloa frumentacea)
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©James Schnable (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Economic importance

Japanese millet is grown for green fodder and for fodder for the winter. It is well eaten fresh and canned.

The composition of the dry matter of Japanese millet in the phase of complete heading: protein 12.2%; fat 1.3%; fiber 36.6%; nitrogen-free extractives 39.3%, including sugars 8.0%. The composition of the dry matter of fodder millet: protein 8.9%; fat 1.4%; fiber 33.9%, nitrogen-free extractives 44.0%.

100 kg of dry mass of Japanese millet contains 61.3 feed units, fodder millet 44.8 feed units. 1 feed unit of green mass contains 158 g of digestible protein, hay – 145 g.

Japanese millet grain serves as a good food for birds, in crushed or ground form – for all animals.

Cultural history

Japanese millet has long been grown as a grain and fodder crop in Asian countries: India, China, Japan and others.

It appeared in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories. Later it began to be cultivated in the European part of Russia, but it is not widely used.


According to the results of the experiments of the All-Russian Research Institute of leguminous and cereal crops (Oryol region), the yield of green mass of paisa on average for 1989-1992. amounted to 62.3 t/ha, fodder millet – 38.9 t/ha.

Botanical description

Paisa, or Japanese millet (Echinochloa frumentacea L.).

The root system is fibrous, developed, penetrates the soil to a depth of 1.5 m.

The stem is erect, rounded flat, branched, well leafy, 50-200 cm high. Bushiness 4-20, depends on weather conditions and soil fertility.

The leaves are linear-lanceolate in shape, hairless, sharply rough along the edges.

Inflorescence – panicle of various shapes with a trihedral stem, length 10-50 cm. Spikelets are small, contain 2 flowers on short stalks, green or with an anthocyanin shade, turn brown after ripening.

The fruit is a small spherical or oval caryopsis, the color varies from white to black. Weight 1000 – seeds 2-4 g.

Biological features

Japanese millet is a thermophilic culture. Seeds begin to germinate at a soil temperature of 10-12 °C. Minor frosts are detrimental to seedlings. The optimum temperature for growth and development is 18-25 °C.

Moisture-loving plant. To obtain high yields, the annual rainfall must be at least 500 mm or cultivated under irrigation.


According to the biological characteristics of growth and development, Japanese millet is similar to other millet crops.

In the first half of the growing season it grows slowly. With enough moisture and heat, it branches well, new stems are formed from the axils of the leaves, usually with productive panicles. The maximum foliage falls on the phases of full heading and the beginning of flowering.

The vegetative period from sowing to heading lasts 75-80 days, until the seeds ripen 110-125 days.

Crop rotation

Winter and leguminous crops, sugar beets and potatoes are considered good predecessors in the crop rotation for paisa.


Phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied for peeling or plowing, the recommended application rate is P60K60.

It is better to apply ammoniacal forms of nitrogen fertilizers under ploughing in the norm N45-60, nitrate forms – under the first cultivation in the spring.


The main and pre-sowing tillage is similar to that for other millet crops. The main tasks are the maximum destruction of weeds, the preservation and accumulation of moisture.

After harvesting the predecessor, peeling is carried out with disc tools to a depth of 8-10 cm to provoke weeds. When their shoots appear, plowing is carried out to a depth of 22-25 cm.

Since paisa is a small-seeded crop, careful pre-sowing soil preparation is necessary, as well as for millet.


Japanese millet is sown at the same time as millet or Sudanese grass, that is, when the soil warms up at a depth of 10 cm to 10-12 °C. In the forest-steppe zone, this period usually falls on the middle of May, after the mass germination of millet-like weeds, in the steppe zone earlier.

The method of sowing for fodder is the usual ordinary, the seeding rate is 3.5-4.0 million units/ha, or 12-13 kg/ha. The depth of sowing seeds is 3-5 cm.

After sowing, the soil is rolled with ring-spur rollers.

Crop care

A characteristic malicious weed in Japanese millet crops is chicken millet (common barnyard grass). It is very similar to paisa, it differs in the anthocyanin color of the basal rosette of leaves at the beginning of the growing season (it is absent in paisa).

Against annual weeds, pre-emergence harrowing is carried out with light harrows 4-5 days after sowing across the direction of the rows or diagonally. Japanese millet seedlings appear in 10-12 days.

Permitted preparations can be used against weeds, while when passing the machine on floors, a double dose of herbicide should not be obtained, as this leads to severe inhibition of plants.


To harvest paisa for food, they start in the phase of panicle sprouting – the beginning of flowering, that is, 75-80 days after sowing. The best quality forage mass is obtained when harvesting during the period from the phase of full heading to flowering. Plants remain green until fully ripe, but forage quality is greatly reduced. For example, the content of crude protein at the beginning of heading is 11.4%, during the flowering period – 12.2%, and when the seeds ripen – 8.8%.

For green fodder and silage, the mass is mowed by silo combines, for hay and haylage – by hay mowers and reapers.

Growing for seeds

To obtain paisa seeds, sowing is carried out using a wide-row method with a row spacing of 45-60 cm, a seeding rate of 1.5-2.0 million pcs/ha, or 6-7 kg/ha, using vegetable seeders СО-4.2 or СКОН-4.2.

In the tillering phase, inter-row cultivation is carried out with cultivators with razor paws or milling paws (КФ-5.4). Covering plants with earth during processing is not allowed.

Harvesting for seeds is started when 2/3 of the seeds in the panicle are fully ripe. Mowing into rolls is carried out with conventional headers, it is recommended to reduce the width of the harvester for better drying of the mass. As the rolls dry up, the rolls are threshed at a reduced speed and the primary cleaning of the seeds is immediately done. After harvesting, the seeds are dried and sorted.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

V.V. Kolomeichenko. Crop production / Textbook. — M.: Agrobusinesscenter, 2007. — 600 p. ISBN 978-5-902792-11-6.

Fundamentals of agricultural production technology. Agriculture and crop production. Ed. V.S. Niklyaev. – M .: “Epic”, 2000. – 555 p.