Quinoa Production In The Pacific Northwest

Quinoa Production In The Pacific Northwest

Quinoa Production In The Pacific Northwest

I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Kevin Murphy, WSU assistant research professor and quinoa breeder, has been conducting on-going research on quinoa varietal selection, agronomy and breeding over the last few years, and says that a variety of quinoa adapted specifically to the Pacific Northwest could be available to farmers here within the next two to three years. Murphy explains why they started working with quinoa.

MURPHY: Washington state does rank second behind California in the number of crops grown and so the growers up here are really really excited about trying new crops and really good at trying new crops. Farmers are also looking for ways to diversify their cropping rotation and quinoa seems to be of interest to many of them - both organic and conventional growers.

Murphy says that quinoa is drought tolerant and tolerates high saline soils while maintaining high yields, but it is susceptible to heat.

MURPHY: If you’re hoping to grow quinoa in your environment - if it’s over 95 degrees, especially during key times like pollen formation, it can lead to pollen sterility, and lead to essentially sterile quinoa heads - you won’t get any grain.

That’s why researchers are working to develop heat tolerant varieties. Murphy also said that researchers are looking for a quinoa variety that will provide high yields and mature for harvest before fall cold and rains arrive. Murphy recommends that farmers who want to try to grow quinoa should use a good source of seeds and try as many as possible to see which ones do the best for them.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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