Quinoa varieties trialled in the Netherlands

Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands has begun field trials of quinoa at two sites in order to compare varieties and performance in different soil types.

The focus of the variety trial will be on early ripening as well as yield. Wageningen crop expert Ruud Timmer said: "Quinoa does not ripen until late in the season and around mid-September. During rainy periods in autumn it is veyr difficult to harvest the crop in a dry state."

Pest and disease resistance will also be scrutinised, given that no plant protection products are currently approved for commercial quinoa growing, and the effect on harmful soil nematodes will also be carefully monitored.

Though yielding seed resembling a cereal, the plant is a relative of beetroot and spinach.

It is increasinging in popularity in the West, but cultivation outside its native South America remains negligible.


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