Amaranth is a herbaceous annual plant, undeservedly forgotten. It has wide leaves and a branching stalk reaching a height of more than 2 meters. Now its cultivation is actively carried out in different countries.
Amaranth was studied in an artificially created medium, as a result of which data were obtained on green mass yields of up to 500–800 centners. Substance derived from this culture is an excellent and inexpensive food for pigs, sheep and cattle. It is used as a raw material in the production of feed, grass pellets and BVK. The feed unit amaranth, containing about 140-180 grams of digestible protein, is almost 2 times lower in cost than corn.
Successful seed farming is guaranteed by a rapid increase in the number of seeds.
Its coefficient exceeds the mark 1000 times. This is one of the key features of the plant, thanks to which it is in demand among domestic farmers. From 500 grams of the sowed culture 6-8 centners of seed material are obtained.
The carried out work allowed to study the peculiarities of this species, its biological qualities and cultivation technologies in agriculture. Studies of domestic and foreign experts, as well as production tests, have established that it is a heat-loving plant that grows at a soil temperature not lower than +8 ° C. On warm spring days, planting sunrises begin on day 10, and on hot summer days – on days 5-7. It is believed that to accelerate growth it is enough to create warm conditions.
Sprouts are small in height, they have a pink or green shade. For further development they need warmth and good moisture provision. At the same time, the plant tolerates drought steadily, unlike most other species. At this time, growth stops completely. Immediately after overcoming the lack of moisture, it is quickly restored and continues its life cycle. Also amaranth is a little susceptible to diseases and parasites. The growth process can be divided into several periods. The first month they grow slowly, increasing the intensity in subsequent phases. Further, the stem can grow by 4-7 cm per day. Speed up this process can increase the temperature over + 20 ° C.
The growth of amaranth takes about 4-5 months and depends from temperature conditions.
It ripens in the second half of August and early September. It grows best on sandy and light loamy soils, in which the content of humus and nutrients is not lower than average, and the pH level does not exceed the data of 5.6-6.5. High levels of moisture, high clay content and the lack of a clear structure make the land unsuitable for cultivation. In it, the seeds simply do not germinate and die.
Before sowing, it is required to clear the field of various perennial and annual weeds and enrich them with fertilizers. 50-60 tons of organic fertilizers are recommended for each hectare. Doses of mineral elements are: nitrogen – about 100 kg, phosphate – up to 60 kg, potash up to 140 kilograms of substances. If the soil was fertilized poorly or was completely devoid of nutrients, it is recommended to use mineral elements according to the maximum described parameters.
Preparation of a site before the sowing company takes place in the traditional way.
To begin with, it is recommended to raise the early frost, after which 2 early autumn and 3 spring cultivations are carried out, which will clear the field of weeds. After this, the standard procedures are carried out: leveling the soil, harrowing and rolling it. To do this, use special equipment and light rollers. Then you can proceed to sowing.
When planting amaranth, the ground should be sufficiently moist and heated. These are the key factors contributing to the excellent yield, without which the seeds will not take root and will not germinate. Usually they are planted immediately after the early spring crops. It is believed that this is the most appropriate time when the necessary factors (humidity and temperature of the soil) reach the norm. This crop can be planted twice a year. In addition to spring sowing, summer gives excellent results. Sowing takes place in the second half of July, and the harvest takes place in September. If you comply with all requirements, each hectare will yield up to 600 centners of green mass.
Amaranth in its seeding is similar to the usual row crop.
The distance between the rows is 45-60 cm and 70 cm. The norm that does not overload the soil is up to 600 grams. seeds per hectare. To take root and sprout, they are recommended to be mixed with an inert filler in the ratio of 1:10. This is necessary because the seeds are small in size (1000 seeds weigh less than 900 grams) and easily move under the influence of environmental factors. It would not be superfluous to mix seeds with fertilizer such as nitrophoska, but it must be sifted and leveled. In order for amaranth to get acclimatized in the ground and to grow freely, embedment should not be deeper than 2 cm.
Most often for sowing, models SKON-4,2 and СОН-2,8 vegetable seeders are used. After that, rolling is carried out. When weeds appear, inter-row processing and drilling is necessary. For germination and development should determine the appropriate thickness of the stalk. After the research, it became known that the standard for growing green mass is up to 30 units per square meter. For seed plots, this figure is less – 15 bushes. Thinning is carried out on thickened areas.
The phase of intensive growth comes after 3 weeks from the moment of sunrise. Then they can grow on their own. There is no need for further care. When flowering there is a better palatability of green mass. This period is called milk ripeness, which is why it is so important to gather culture in time. For this fit conventional silage machines. After extensive experiments and experiments, it was found that this stage falls at the end of August.
In a matured plant, leaves and stem turn a cream color.
As soon as such changes become noticeable, the inflorescences will begin to fall off even with a slight shaking. This is a signal for those who want to collect seeds in a timely manner. All inflorescences are cut and collected personally. It takes not so much time as it may seem. With a well-coordinated workflow, several employees per shift will easily gather material for planting on 50 hectares of land. Collected inflorescences are subject to drying under the shelter or on special dryers. They are laid out in a thin layer and remain there for several weeks for ripening. After that, the inflorescences are processed on a combine or flax hammer.
Amaranth is introducing more and more farms for fodder production. Inexpensive at cost, the plant has become a very valuable feed crop.