Quinoa to be Grown in Pacific Northwest
Quinoa To Be Grown in Pacific Northwest
I’m KayDee Gilkey with the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report.
Quinoa is harvested for its seeds that have a nutlike flavor and fluffy texture when cooked. In addition to high levels of protein, quinoa contains higher amounts of calcium, iron, fiber and vitamin B than similar foods, like rice, wheat and barley. Growing demand for quinoa worldwide has more than doubled its price in the past decade.
Researchers are exploring the potential for quinoa to be grown in the Northwest’s diverse climates.
Steve Petrie, one of the researchers on the project and the director of Oregon State University’s Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center says quinoa might be a future crop for Northwest farmers.
Dr. Petrie: “Consumer demand for quinoa is exceeding our limited domestic production right now. Most of the quinoa that is consumed in the U.S. is imported and so we think it is an opportunity for our growers to produce a crop locally and capture some of that value.”
To expand promising preliminary findings, OSU and Washington State University -- two of the partners on this four-year, $1.6 million grant from USDA -- will plant the first crop of quinoa this spring as Dr. Petrie shares.
Dr. Petrie: “We’re looking at what kinds of practices that do we need to conduct to be able to grow the crop successfully in Pacific Northwest under both dryland and irrigated conditions and then over in the Willamette Valley under high rainfall conditions in the winter over there.”