Pearl millet seeds should be planted at a shallow depth in a firm, moist seedbed. It is a deep-rooted crop that can use residual nutrients from the soil, requiring less fertilization than other grains. It also does not normally require substantial insecticide application. The grains can be harvested as early as 40 days after flowering, as indicated by the grains emerging from the head upon pinching. It can be harvested by hand or mechanically. It is imperative that the grains be properly dried prior to storage to avoid sprouting.
Pearl millet can grow in areas with low soil fertility, and high salinity or low pH, making it a good alternative to other crops. It can also tolerate acidic sub-soils that are high in aluminum content. However, it does not tolerate waterlogging or clay soils.
Pearl millet can be cultivated in areas with drought and high temperatures. It needs high daytime temperatures for the grain to mature. Despite its drought resistance, it requires evenly distributed rainfall throughout the season.