The portal Superagronom.com provides information of the head of the Association of producers of amaranth and amaranth products Alexander Duda – he talks about the main advantages and disadvantages of growing high-yield amaranth.
Currently amaranth is one of the most agricultural crops that are currently cultivated in Ukraine. The main regions of amaranth cultivation:
The average yield of amaranth is 2 tons of seeds per hectare. The level of profitability is 50 thousand hryvnia per hectare. At the same time, the cost of organic amaranth is one third higher.
Climate change, more frequent dry periods stimulate farmers to look for new opportunities and encourage them to grow drought-resistant crops. This culture is amaranth. Alexander Duda told about the peculiarities of plant cultivation.
The benefits of growing amaranth
In particular, he notes that there are many aspects and factors capable of convincing the Ukrainian farmer of the need to grow amaranth:
- with exact observance of technology, irrigation of cultivated areas in the southern regions of the country, the yield of amaranth will vary from 3 to 5 tons per hectare;
- the price of one sowing unit is 300 hryvnia;
- the cost of growing amaranth does not exceed 10 thousand hryvnia per hectare of the sown area;
- the plant is drought tolerant, it has the smallest transpiration coefficient (calculated as follows – the amount of water in grams required for the formation of 1 gram of dry matter), among the crops grown now in Ukraine;
- The special attention is deserved by the level of protein content – in its vegetative mass of about 16%;
- if you granulate the green mass, make grass flour from it, amaranth greens are ideal for animal feed;
- In general, amaranth is relatively demanding on the quality of the soil, but at the same time, it is not at all necessary to apply mineral fertilizers to the soil, since the plant alone is able to satisfy its needs for nitrogen, and it also enriches the soil with this substance;
- the plant is resistant to various diseases;
- if crop rotation is observed, amaranth is practically not affected by pests;
- taking into account the fragility of amaranth seeds, it should be noted that the plant actually does not give carrion.
What difficulties and disadvantages do farmers face when they grow amaranth
However, Alexander Duda notes a number of shortcomings faced by domestic farmers who have decided to grow amaranth. Since in order to achieve a high level of productivity it is necessary to make some efforts:
- most farms simply do not have the ability to ensure effective sowing of amaranth seeds due to the lack of specialized seeders – amaranth seed diameter is about 0.8 millimeter, and the required sowing depth ranges from 1.5 to 2 centimeters;
- the plant is afraid of frosts, and seed germination begins only at a temperature of 12 degrees Celsius – ideal amaranth sowing dates begin in May, but by this month in some regions of Ukraine it is extremely difficult to maintain the required level of moisture in the upper soil layer, which can lead to a low emergence rate;
- to fight weeds, it is necessary to have high-profile equipment – in particular, we are talking about rotary and spring harrows;
- modern harvesters with reapers that have a rapeseed table are required for harvesting;
- harvesting begins with full maturity of seeds and their moisture content from 12 to 20%, and the standard moisture content of seed storage should be 10%;
- when drying seeds, it is categorically impossible to use high temperatures, since this will lead to a final decrease in the quality of the amaranth oil produced.
What else you need to know about growing amaranth
Regarding the precursors of amaranth, the main requirements for them are early cleaning and the complete absence of crop residues. Given this, it can be noted that the best predecessors for amaranth are:
- cereals, amaranth inflorescence
- leguminous crops;
- annual herbs;
But today there are no problems with a variety of amaranth. The most popular are the following varieties:
Each variety is characterized by its special characteristics – different growing season and areas of application. Therefore, farmers, when choosing a particular variety for sowing, should always take into account the specifics of their region and needs.
Therefore, considering that amaranth is distinguished by increased profitability, as well as applicability in various fields (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food production, chemical industry), has a high potential in the world market, you should not be surprised why the UN Food Commission recognized this plant culture of the 21st century.
We remind that earlier we published a review of news about amaranth – in particular, it became known that a large Ukrainian latifundist is interested in growing a plant and in 2020 it can sow amaranth up to 1000 hectares of sown areas.