If several seeds are sown per planting hole, many seedlings can emerge per station and form a cluster. To reduce competition for nutrients, water and sunlight within the cluster, the millet seedlings must be thinned to three or less per station, although some farmers prefer to leave four plants per station. Wider spacing on sandy soils allows individual plant to develop more lateral roots and make the plants more resilient to droughts.
Thinning is normally done within about one month from sowing, before tillering starts. It is mostly done by hand. The less vigorous seedlings and those appearing to be diseased or weak due to some reason, must be removed. If necessary, removed seedlings which are healthy can be used to fi ll in gaps in places where emergence was poor. Seedlings used for gap fi lling should be used on the same day that they are thinned out, and adequate moisture should be available to facilitate their re-establishment.