Millet
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Millet common name for various species of plants belonging to different genera but all within the grass family, and for their small-seeded grain, which is used to make porridge and types of bread or as food for livestock and cage birds. Millet grows in ears or heads on stalks that range from 0.3 to 3 m (1 to 10 ft) tall. It is an important staple food in most of the former Soviet republics, western Africa, and Asia, where it probably originated more than 5,000 years ago. Because it grows in less fertile soils, and resists drought, it is widely cultivated in poorer agricultural areas. A number of species also grow quickly, some in as little as a few weeks. Millets usually contain less protein than wheat or rye, and more protein than rice.

Among the better-known millets is common millet, or proso, which is grown as food in China, India, central and western Asia, and eastern Europe, and as feed for poultry, wild birds, and livestock in the United States. Foxtail or Italian millet is grown in temperate regions for cereal and birdseed. Barnyard millet is one of the fastest-maturing species, producing a crop six weeks after sowing. Millet, a general category for several species of small grained cereal crops, is the worlds seventh most important cereal grain.

Scientific classification: Millets belong to the genera Echinochloa, Milium, Panicum, Pennisetum, and Setana all within the family Poaceae (or Gramineae). Common millet, or proso, is classified as Panicum miliaceum. Foxtail or Italian millet is classified as Setana italica and barnyard millet as Echinochloa frumentacea. Sorghum make up the genus Sorghum in the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).