Adlai Grains

Which One Has The Right Maturity?

I saw a small group of adlai grass near the sidewalk. I bet no one planted it so I hurriedly picked the grains. It was a dark night, I can barely see the grain colors. I was not able to finish cause a dog came barking at me.

The next day I inspected all the grains I gathered. They were mixture of immature and matured grains. The immature green was hard but can be cracked in between teeth. The next grains were so hard. I pounded them with a hard object to crack open.

adlai in glass

adlai grains of different maturity

My hammering was not careful enough so all cotyledons were damaged. Besides, I cannot find ways to open it without damaging the edible portion.

The following are pictures of adlai grains. Please tell me which is the right color for harvest! Sorry for the blurred pictures!

crushed adlai 1

crushed adlai 2

crushed adlai 3

crushed adlai 4

Searching, How To Mill Adlai Grains

Drying, Storage and Milling. Dry grains until it reaches 10-14% moisture content (MC) and store in a cool dry place. Storage should be free from insects, rodents, and other pests. It is best to mill the grains at 12 to 13% MC. The milling recovery of well polished adlai is 50-55%.

I read it from “Adlai Production Guide” pamphlet published by the Department of Agriculture.

I was happy when I first saw the reading material but got frustrated short after. I was really looking on how to mill the grain, crack it open and get grain in mass numbers. Is there any adlai milling machine or the farmers have to do it using lusong method, the wooden mortar and pestle?

The milling requirement of 12-13 moisture content is a good start. More production technologies will emerge as more farmers plant adlai.

P.S… a little information about harvesting.

Adlai matures up to 5-6 months or when 85% of the panicles have matured. Cut the stem of matured panicles and placed them in sacks. Cutting should be at least 1 ft or 2-3 nodes from the ground to facilitate ratooning. Sundry (2-3 times) the harvested stalks prior to threshing. It can be done by handpicking/pounding machine to separate grains from leaves and panicles.

adlai production pamphlet

pamphlet published by:
Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Office No. 02
Nursery Compound, San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, 3500
Tel. Nos: (078) 844-1324/1312
Fax Nos: (078) 844-1031/846-9131
Email Address:

Consult the mentioned agency if you are interested.

Cracking and Milling Light Colored Adlai Grains

These were adlai grains. I was wondering why they were so light colored. Other grains I have seen were dark red and grey. Seed shell was relatively brittle than what I described before.  The usual grains I have been seeing in my place were hard and could be made into durable necklace and bracelet. On the contrary, these could be cracked in between fingers and the whole grain could be gathered with ease. Go and press them one by one!

light colored adlai grains

The coffee mill was cleaned thoroughly and a kilogram of adlai grains was passed through. It resulted to a bunch of husks which I thought could be used for making pillows.

a kilog of milled adlai

According to him, a handful of grains could be gathered after winnowing. Pretty small as compared to rice. However, it has advantage over rice. Adlai is resistant to drought, it can live in wilderness without the need for much water. For all we know, rice is an irrigated crop.

Sorry! I never had a chance to know its actual yield.

I guessed Kuya Onad set the mill too tight. A well milled adlai should look like this. Please pretend you never see the pieces of roasted coffee!

milled adlai grains with coffee beans

Shelling Adlai Seeds With Long Nose Pliers

Another crazy stuff. I got another set of adlai seeds. The light colored adlai seeds with relatively soft seed coat. Nineteen adlai seeds that were left behind after milling a set of one kilogram.

19 adlai seeds

The crazy stuff.

It can be peeled with bare hands with ease but would be easier with a hand tool, the long nose pliers. I got the pliers and began piercing them one by one until I got all the brown grains. It took me about seven minutes. About six thousand hours if I took one million seeds instead.  This task obviously needs a decent milling machinery.

adlai grains and seeds

Out of 19 seeds, 12 grains were gathered while the other seven seeds were empty. If this number will always be true, then expect a 63% recovery by numbers, not by weight.

Sorry! I tried finding analytical balance with no success.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

2 Replies to “Adlai Grains”

  1. hi sir/maam! have you harvested adlai in large quantities? I would be very interested in seeing how an adlai plant looks like and the cycle of bearing and replanting. Also on the feasibility of it as an alternative food source. And maybe in the long run the feasibility of it as a business. looking forward to hear from you sir/maam.

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