Growing Quinoa in the Willamette Valley. Heather Stoven OSU Extension Horticulture

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1 Growing Quinoa in the Willamette Valley Heather Stoven OSU Extension Horticulture

2 Today s Topics Introduction Origins Economic facts Nutrition/uses Agronomic characteristics Growing Quinoa

3 Quick Facts Chenopodium quinoa Closely related to spinach, beets and weeds such as lambsquarters and pigweed (Amaranthaceae family aka goosefoot family) pseudocereal Annual life cycle

4 Origins Native to South America Northern Columbia to central Chile Center of origin in Bolivia and Peru Five major ecotypes Evidence of cultivation up to 8000 years ago Grown by pre-columbian civilization Staple crop for Incas important culturally Replaced by cereals when Spanish arrived agriwaterpedia *Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production, 2015

5 Nutrition Gluten free Natural balance between oils, protein and carbohydrates About 16% protein, containing all essential amino acids High levels of Mg, Ca, Fe, Zn and Cu Rich with vitamins A, B2 and E Superior antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber to traditional grains

6 Uses Has a high starch content and can be made into flour like cereals Gluten free Baking Grain mixes

7 Economics One of the fastest growing commodities in world trade Bolivia grows 250,000 acres which is 90% of world s cultivation Exports were at $13 million in 2012 US is importing 53% of quinoa Exports have increased 28% on average since 1992 FAO: International Quinoa Trade

8 Agronomic attributes In South America cultivated from 2 N to 47 S 4000m to sea level Precipitation from 6 to 110 annually Tolerant of saline soils and irrigation water Mildly frost tolerant Tolerates cold soil Tolerant of a wide range of soil ph and soil types Good crop for marginal environment Low input crop agriwaterpedia *Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production, 2015

9 Growing Quinoa Choose the right seeds Seed Company Wild Garden Seed Salt Spring Seeds Bountiful Gardens One-Garden Sustainable Seed Co. Location Oregon BC Canada California Missouri Colorado

10 Willamette Valley Climate Mediterranean climate 40 rain annually Average annual high 63.6 F Average annual low 42.4 F

11 Growing Quinoa in the WV Collaboration with Marion-Polk Food Share Quinoa used as a protein source for Better Burger Distributes burgers to food banks in area

12 Growing Quinoa in the WV Multiple seasons of experience in Salem, OR area Grown in small plots and up to 15 acres Contracted work to Iverson Family Farms Range of results

13 Seeding Seed from Wild Garden Seed Oro d Valle Cherry Vanilla Red Head seed head sprouting less common Brightest Brilliant Rainbow diverse plants Planted lb/a (8-12lb/A recommended) 1 g/12-20 row ft (~350 seeds/g) between rows Planted with grain drill in mid-april (last frost May 1)

14 Plant Growth Fertility Used from 35-40lbs N per A (40-100lbs/A typical range) Irrigation Fairly drought tolerant crop Drip is best Weekly or less based on weather Stop irrigation late in the season Rain or overhead irrigation as seed is matures can cause seed sprouting in seed head Lodging can occur with excess irrigation or fertility

15 Plant Growth Germinate quickly within first week (mid- Apr) End of May plants were 4-12 tall Inflorescence development by late June Flowering early July Maximum height around 4 in July Plants begin to dry down mid-july Inflorescence development June 25th Seed head development August 4 th

16 Botany Inflorescences are panicles Tiny 0.15 flowers without petals Self-fertile Can cross pollinate need over 300 apart seeds can vary in color Photo: Wikimedia

17 Pests Lygus is a major crop pest Feed on immature seeds causing aborted seeds Can result in severe loss if high populations No pesticides are registered for this crop Photo: Utah State Univ

18 Pests Secondary pests Mirid plant bug Orthotylus coagulatus? Aphids Cucumber beetles Insectary plants and conservation biocontrol Big eyed bugs and damsel bugs, parasitic wasps

19 Disease Downy mildew Reduces phytosythetic capacity Leaves can die Overhead irrigation can be problematic Wild Garden Seed cultivars have some resistance Disease can be seed-borne Can surface sterilize with 70% ethanol for 2 min or rinse with bleach Fusarium

20 Weeds Can plant in rows and cultivate between Lambsquarters can cross pollinate Mayweed chamomile

21 Harvesting Important for plants and seed to be dry Check for firmness of seed with fingernail Cut with combine Seed cleaned by a local specialty seed company Harvested Aug 27 th in 2014 (134 days to harvest) Yield was 900lb/A before cleaning, 400lb/A after

22 Processing Quinoa has an outer coating containing saponins Give it a bitter taste Can have negative health effects Saponins need to be removed This is a major hurdle for large production Abrasion or washing

23 Challenges 2015 no seed was produced High temps can cause pollen sterility 27 days above 90, days Extremely dry Lygus? Downy mildew? Fusarium?

24 On A Small Scale MPFS Youth Farm 11 beds 100 x 30 wide Red Head and Brightest Brilliant Rainbow Planted Apr 22 nd and May 20 th 2016 Hand harvested Aug 27 th and Sept 29th Let dry couple days 8 bushels Wet weather was a challenge at harvest

25 Saving Seed Cross pollination can occur Need more than 300 ft between varieties Can cross pollinate with lambsquarters Can save the seed from plants that do best in your area

26 Conclusions Quinoa is a unique crop with unique requirements Low input crop Start small Use seed that is best for your region Have processing figured out beforehand Results can be variable

27 Resources Kevin Murphy, WSU Quinoa: Improvement and Sustainable Production Effect of Irrigation, intercrop and cultivar on agronomic and nutritional characteristics of Quinoa. J. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (alternative field crops manual UW Madison, U of M) SARE report for Cornell Small Farms Adopting Quinoa in Southeastern Idaho

28 Questions?

29

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