Growing Milo

At emergence, the Milo needs to be fertilized.  This will be done by side-dressing the Milo with choice fertilizer, usually just Nitrogen.   Fertilizing makes the Milo turn a pretty green and grow. 

When the Milo starts to develop, it will look very similar to corn.  I have been living on a farm my whole life and I still get the two plants confused for the first several weeks.  However, my dad can tell you within a second with barely a glance which crop he is looking at.  He looks at the spacing between each plant.  Corn is spaced farther apart than Milo. 


Above:  The top plant is Corn.  The bottom plant is Milo. 

The plant grows quickly.  Within two months, the plant is at full hight.  These pictures show the hight progression:

There are many leaves on the Milo plant.  These leaves feed the fruit. 

A single seed-head will emerge from the leaves.  Many seeds will form on the single seed-head.  When the seed-head emerges, it is green in color. 


In the next stage, the seed-head will turn an orangey-red.  The time frame between these two stages varies based on the variety. 

In the next stage, the seed-head will turn rusty-brown.  This is the last stage before full maturity.

Above:  In this picture, you can see the different stages of Milo.  Some of the heads are green, some are orangey-red, and some are rusty-brown.


2 comments on “Growing Milo

  1. What is the difference in feed value of milo vs corn? Do animals like it? Can you ensile it?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Kellie,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. It’s finals week at college, so life has been crazy! Animals don’t seem to have a particular taste for milo over corn or the reverse. Milo is mixed in with other oats, grasses, and animal feed usually. The biggest reason for feeding animals milo over corn is MONEY! Doesn’t everything in life come down to that?!!? Milo is very cheap, especially compared to corn. Milo usually generates a lower profit for farmers, but it is easier to produce than corn. Milo is able to withstand dry weather when corn can’t. Also, corn is in high demand for other reasons, such as ethanol. Milo isn’t in very high demand at all. In the grand scheme of the world, hardly anyone uses milo.
      Milo adds yellow fat to the animals that eat it. Humans don’t like to eat yellow fat on their meat, but yellow fat on meat is a small price to pay for cheap grain.
      Yes, you can put milo in a silo. But, most people don’t put milo in silos. For many reasons, 1)it’s not an important enough crop to put in silos 2) usually, milo isn’t a farmer’s most important crop (important enough to take up silo space) 3) corn elevators get backed-up because so many people are trying to sell their grain; most milo elevators don’t get backed-up.
      Animals love it, especially when it is mixed with something that adds to the flavor.

      Hope this helps,

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