The proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a cereal plant cultivated for its grain, mostly in Asia and North America. It is a warm-season grass with a short growing season and low moisture requirement that is capable of producing food or feed where other grain crops would fail (Baltensperger et al., 1995; Berglund, 2007). Proso millet is an erect annual grass up to 1.2-1.5 m tall, usually free-tillering and tufted, with a rather shallow root system. Its stems are cylindrical, simple or sparingly branched, with simple alternate and hairy leaves. The inflorescence is a slender panicle with solitary spikelets. The fruit is a small caryopsis (grain), broadly ovoid, up to 3 mm x 2 mm, smooth, variously coloured but often white, and shedding easily (Kaume, 2006).
While mostly cultivated for its grain, proso millet produces enough plant material to be considered a forage crop. However, proso millet has a lower leaf-to-stem ratio than plants such as foxtail millet (Setaria italica), which generally causes it to be of lower quality. In the USA, it usually gives a lower forage yield than foxtail millet, and farmers generally prefer to grow the latter species (Baltensperger et al., 1995). The forage quality of the straw is poor, and in India it is more often used for bedding than for cattle. The straw is also made into brooms (Kaume, 2006). Panicum miliaceum may be a useful catch crop for emergency fodder (Göhl, 1982).