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Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) is also known as common millet, hog millet or white millet. Both the wild ancestor and the location of domestication of proso millet are unknown, but it first appears as a crop in both Transcaucasia and China about 7,000 years ago, suggesting it may have been domesticated independently in each area. It is still extensively cultivated in India, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Turkey and Romania. In the United States, proso is mainly grown for birdseed. It is sold as health food, and due to its lack of gluten, it can be included in the diets of people who cannot tolerate wheat.
Proso is well adapted to many soil and climatic conditions; it has a short growing season, and needs little water. The water requirement of proso is probably the lowest of any major cereal. It is an excellent crop for dryland and no-till farming. Proso millet is an annual grass whose plants reach an average height of 100 cm (4 feet.) The seed heads grow in bunches. The seeds are small (2-3 mm or 0.1 inch) and can be cream, yellow, orange-red, or brown in colour.
Proso is an annual grass like all other millets, but it is not closely related to pearl millet, foxtail millet, finger millet, or the barnyard millets.