Amaranth is considered an unpretentious plant. In terms of resistance to heat and biomass yield, this plant has no equal. Amaranth withstands drought to 45-50 degrees of heat. When growing it does not require special care and high costs. However, experienced growers know that in order to get a good harvest of grain or a large amount of greenery for silage, the crops of this unpretentious plant are better fed. If we talk about growing amaranth for green mass, now this topic is relevant.
Simple rules for growing amaranth for green fodder
To harvest green fodder and silage, amaranth can be sown in summer: during June-July. In this case, get good results in September.
Sow the seeds must be in a moist soil, and to a depth of no more than 1-2 cm. If the soil is dried, up to 3-4 cm. Superficial sowing of amaranth is not allowed, since very small amaranth seeds that are not embedded in the soil do not germinate. The first shoots appear on day 7-10.
The seeding rate is considered to be 0.3-0.5 kg / ha: this is enough for optimum plant stand density (70–150 pieces per 1 sq. M). As a result, 25-35 shoots should be obtained per 1 running meter. In order to get 600 kg / ha of green mass, 10-12 well-developed plants should remain at the start meter at the start of 1 meter.
About options for feeding amaranth
It is important to note that amaranth has indisputable advantages over traditional agricultural plants. It:
• increased susceptibility of agrotechnics and fertilizers;
• adaptability to different climatic conditions and soil;
• low seeding rate;
• intensive growth;
• resistance to diseases and pests.
Fertilization always contributes to the intensive growth and increase in green mass, as well as a peculiar increase in the plant immunity – greater resistance to diseases and pests.
It is established that fertilizers significantly increase the productivity of amaranth. Allowed to use and organics, and mineral tukov. However, it should be noted that fertilizers are perceived best of all, if they are applied during the cultivation of the precursor of amaranth. Recommended:
• organic fertilizers up to 70 tons / ha;
• mineral fertilizers – 60-120 kg / ha NPK (depending on the soil).
When growing amaranth for green mass, nitrogen fertilizers play a major role. They can also be applied as a top dressing. Ammonium, ammonium and amide forms are most suitable for this.
It is noticed that of all types of dressings amaranth best of all perceives organic matter. It is enough once a week to feed the plants with infusion of mullein in a ratio of 1 to 10. This fertilizer is of organic type, has a natural origin and at the same time has good efficiency. Plants fully assimilate all the organic substances that make up this fertilizer. With this fertilizer amaranth gets a large amount of minerals and trace elements, including potassium, nitrogen, sulfur, iron. As a result of this feeding with the mullein, the plants become more resistant to diseases and the effects of harmful microorganisms.
You can also use wood ash, which is one of the rich sources of calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and other substances necessary for the full growth and development of plants. Most of it contains calcium, and this is especially important because calcium plays a huge role at the initial stage of plant development and during the formation of green mass. Wood ash is used as an aqueous solution. It is prepared at the rate of 2 cups of ash per 10 liters. It is recommended to combine such top dressing with watering. However, it should be noted that an excess of even organic fertilizers leads to negative consequences. It is also recommended not to use the wood ash solution on soils with high alkalinity.
Amaranth productivity and livestock productivity
Fertilization in the soil under crops amaranth, top dressing contributes to the achievement of high yields. When providing plants with additional nutrition, you can get about 290 kg / ha of green mass, and this is an environmentally friendly and effective feed. Adding green mass of amaranth to the ration of animals shows the highest weight gain, an increase in the quantity and quality of milk, and an increase in the value of animal and poultry meat.
Improving the efficiency of animal husbandry becomes clear if you look at the composition of green mass. It contains 18 of the 20 existing basic amino acids, and this is not observed in any feed culture. The amount of essential amino acid lysine in amaranth is three times greater than, for example, in corn. In addition, the green mass of amaranth in terms of dry matter contains up to 20% of protein, protein and calcium – 3.5 g and 267 mg per 100 g of raw substance, respectively. On the content of ascorbic acid amaranth surpasses spinach and leaf beets.
The chemical composition of the green mass is not always the same. Here a lot depends on the vegetation phase. Thus, as the plant ages, the level of crude protein in dry matter decreases from 18.1 to 12.3%, and the fiber share increases. In the flowering phase, green mass contains up to 4% protein, or 220–230 g per 1 feed unit. During the ejection of the panicle, the content of protein in the leaves can be 28%, fat – 3.4%, vitamin C – 197 mg%, beta-carotene – up to 6.0%. Depending on the fertilizers applied, the availability of the feed unit with digestible protein may be 167–182 g during harvesting in the phase of formation of inflorescences, only about 155 g during the flowering period.
It is established that the crushed green mass of amaranth in a mixture with other types of forage crops is well eaten by all types of farm animals. In this case, pigs, for example, can give a gain of up to 450 g per day. The inclusion of amaranth green mass in the ration of 2-4 monthly piglets, maintenance pigs, idle, piglets and sows helps to increase their productivity by 12-18%, and the cost of feed for the production of a unit of production is reduced by the same amount.
However, it should be noted that nitrates and salts of oxalic acid can accumulate in the green mass of amaranth as a result of exposure to fertilizers. Therefore, it is recommended to restrict free access for animals to feed.