to: tinman!wsu.edu!milesc (Carol A. Miles) Subject:
Re: Pinon nuts, millet, and quinoa
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Date sent: Wed, 3 Jan 1996
>Date sent: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 15:28:19 -0800
>From: tinman!wsu.edu!milesc (Carol A. Miles)
>Subject: Pinon nuts, millet, and quinoa
>I am seeking information on production of pinon nuts, millet, and quinoa
>and am hoping someone on the list may have information or can point me in
>the right direction. I would like to know if any of these 3 crops will
>grow in Southeastern Washington where the annual rainfall is 15"/300mm, and
>the growing season is typically hot (90-100oF/35-38oC) and dry (little or
>no rainfall). Production would be non-irrigated. I am seeking information
>on suitable varieties, seeding rates, cultural practices, harvesting, and
>The grower who wants this information is looking for alternative crops to
>rotate with wheat and would welcome any other suggestions (he is also
>considering grain amaranth and chickpeas). Thanks in advance for any
>information you can provide.
> Carol A. Miles, Ph.D.
> Washington State University
> Extension Agricultural Systems
> 360 NW North Street
> Chehalis, WA 98532
> PHONE 360-740-1295 FAX 360-740-2792
The University of Minnesota - Minnesota Extension Service has an
Alternative Field Crops Manual that includes a section on Quinoa.
Here is what it has to say about environmental requirements:
"A. CLIMATE--Quinoa requires short daylengths and cool temperatures for
good growth. Areas in South America where it is still produced tend to be
marginal agricultural areas that are prone to drought and have soils with
low fertility. Cultivated quinoa will flower and produce seed at high
elevations between 7,000 and 10,000 feet in Colorado since it requires a
cool temperature for good vegetative growth. Research conducted in Colorado
reported that temperatures which exceeded 95 degrees F tended to cause plant
dormancy or pollen sterility. In several years of trials near the Twin
Cities, Minnesota, quinoa plants failed to set seed; probably due to high
Quinoa plants are usually tolerant to light frosts (30 to 32 degrees F).
Plants should not be exposed to temperatures below 28 degrees F to avoid the
70 to 80% loss that occurred in Colorado during 1985 when plants were in mid-
bloom (Johnson and Croissant, 1990). However, plants are not affected by
temperatures down to 20 degrees F after the grain has reached soft-dough
state. Quinoa will flowre earlier when grown in areas with shorter
Quinoa is generally not a widely adapted crop due to temperature sensitivity.
Farmers should experiment first before planting large acreages.
B. SOIL: This crop grows well on sandy-loam to laomy-sand soils. Marginal
agricultural soils are frequently used in South AMerica to grow quinoa.
These soils have poor or excessive drainage, low natural fertility, or very
acidic (pH of 4.8) to alkaline (8.5) conditions."
I don't know how much information your inquirer has about the crop or how
much you have on hand yoursel, but as I look at this reference, maybe I
should fax you the whole thing (7 pages). If you would like that, drop me a
line and I will be happy to do so.
The same manual has a 6 page section on millets, but I suspect you may have
information on that, being a much more common crop.
In case you are interested in the entire notebook, it can be ordered from :
Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products, 342 Alderman Hall, 1970
Folwell Avenue, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108. The manual
costs $45.00. It currently has materials for about 50 alternative crops.
They also have a similar manual for alternative livestock enterprises.
Minnesota Extension Service
611 Broadway Ave Suite 40
Wabasha, MN 55981-1613