What is the Difference Between Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet

The main difference between foxtail millet and barnyard millet is that barnyard millet has a higher iron content and a lower calcium content than foxtail millet.

Millets are hardy grasses having small seeds that grow well in dry zones, often where grains like rice and wheat do not grow. Foxtail millet and barnyard millet are two types of nutritious millet with many health benefits. Moreover, they contain complex carbohydrates and are rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Key Areas Covered 

1. What is Foxtail Millet 
     – Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Barnyard Millet
     – Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities Between Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Foxtail Millet, Barnyard Millet, Millet

 Foxtail Millet vs Barnyard Millet - Comparison Summary

What is Foxtail Millet

Foxtail millet is Setaria italica and an annual grass we grow for human good. German millet, Italian millet, Hungarian millet, foxtail bristlegrass, and green foxtail are some other names for this millet. Foxtail millet is the second most common species of millet. Moreover, it is one of the millet species that Asians mostly grow.

Foxtail millet has slim, vertical, leafy stems, and they can reach a height of 120–200 cm. Their seedheads are dense, hairy panicles that are about 5–30 long. Furthermore, they have small seeds that are around 2mm in diameter, and they are enclosed in a thin, papery hull. Thus, we can easily remove the hull by threshing. In addition, the color of the seeds varies between different foxtail millet varieties.

Foxtail Millet vs Barnyard Millet

In India, this millet variety is an important crop in arid and semi-arid regions. Furthermore, in South India, it is a staple diet and has been for a long time. Meanwhile, in China, foxtail millet is one of the main food crops, especially for poor people in the northern part. In Europe and North America, foxtail millet is planted at a moderate scale for hay and silage. Generally, foxtail millet helps to strengthen the nervous system, boosts cardiac health, lower bad cholesterol levels, promotes digestion, and triggers weight loss.

What is Barnyard Millet

Barnyard millet is a species of Echinochloa cultivated on a small scale in India, Japan, China, and Korea. It is cultivated both as food and animal fodder. In fact, it’s one of the most important minor millet crops in Asia and shows a firm increase in world production. Generally, people cultivate barnyard millet in areas where the climate is too cool, or the land is unsuitable for rice cultivation. However, with the development of rice varieties that can withstand cold, Japanese barnyard millet has shown a decreased production.

Compare Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet - What's the difference?

Furthermore, barnyard millet can be cooked like rice and have similar nutrients to that of wheat and rice. It has a high content of minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has niacin and fiber. In addition, it has a moderate amount of protein with high digestibility. 

Similarities Between Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet

  • Foxtail millet and barnyard millet are two types of nutritious millet with many health benefits.
  • Moreover, they contain complex carbohydrates and are rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.
  • Generally, we can cook both millet types, like rice.

Difference Between Foxtail Millet and Barnyard Millet

Definition

Foxtail millet is Setaria italica, an annual grass grown for human food, whereas Barnyard millet is a species of Echinochloa cultivated on a small scale in India, Japan, China, and Korea.

Nutrient Content

Barnyard millet has a higher iron content and a lower calcium content than foxtail millet.

Abundance

Foxtail millet is more commonly cultivated than barnyard millet.

Conclusion

Both foxtail millet and barnyard millet contain complex carbohydrates and are rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. The main difference between foxtail millet and barnyard millet is that barnyard millet has a higher iron content and a lower calcium content than foxtail millet.

Reference:

1. “What is Barnyard Millet Rice?” DHATU Organics.
2. “Foxtail Millet: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Ayurvedic Uses, And Recipes.” Netmed.com

Image Courtesy:

1. “Food grain foxtail millet” By Sengai Podhuvan – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Echinochloa crus-galli 2006.08.27 14.59.37-p8270051” By Michael Becker – taken by Michael Becker (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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