English and Australian scientists say that it will be possible to collect several crops of grain and amaranth in the near future. The latest grain growing technology will help. The project was developed based on materials published by NASA. Everything was experimentally successful.
New NASA Development Method
Several years ago, experts at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration developed unique ways to produce food during space expeditions. The development was taken as a basis by scientists from the University of Sydney and Queensland (Australia) and the John Innes Research Center (UK) for a project designed to solve the problems of agricultural land scarcity, quantity and quality of crops, as well as providing the Earth’s population with high-quality and healthy food . So the technology of “fast growing” appeared, and according to it you can collect 3 times more crops.
The method itself consists in an intensive lighting mode. Thanks to this “highlight”, cultures grow faster, and at the same time become strong and healthy. The experiment was carried out in glass structures equipped with special LEDs that create rays with a wavelength that accelerates and makes photosynthesis more efficient. The action of the far red light spectrum is used, and this allows to stimulate the reproductive growth of crops. Using the new method, scientists were able to grow several generations of cereals (six each – wheat, chickpea, barley, and four – rapeseed). An increased amaranth crop was also obtained. As you know, in an ordinary greenhouse no more than three generations of cereals can be grown per year, and in natural conditions – one crop.
According to scientists, earlier attempts were made to accelerate the growth and reproduction of plants, but failed to get healthy and strong specimens. In the process of improving the development, it was possible not only to grow crops, but also to get a good harvest. According to Lee Hickey, one of the authors of the study, most greenhouses use high-pressure sodium lamps, and they are quite expensive in terms of electricity consumption. According to the new method, the majority of cereal populations can be grown with a density of about 900 plants per square meter, and “in combination with LED systems, this provides an excellent opportunity to expand the scale for industrial cultivation.”
Scientists have hoped for even greater improvement of the method due to genetic engineering technologies. They are confident that the results of research and experiments will enable farmers to obtain high-quality crops in an extremely short time. The Australian company Dow AgroSciences has already become interested in the method of rapid growing.
Will the benefits of growing amaranth increase?
The introduction of the “fast growing” method opens up a tempting prospect, given the profitability of growing amaranth. Demand for this culture and its products is growing, and demand is much higher than the existing supply. According to the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, even at the beginning of the season, processing enterprises entered into transactions to purchase 100% of the future crop that farmers expect to collect. At the same time, plant growers can count on obtaining tangible profits. According to preliminary calculations, based on the average amaranth yield of 20 kg / ha, you can get from 50 thousand UAH of revenue. The price of commodity seeds of 25 thousand UAH per ton was taken into account. Organic amaranth is bought more expensive – 35 thousand each. But here it should be noted that in some farms the yield of amaranth reaches 50 kg / ha, and in this case, the profit can be a large amount.
Not only amaranth grain is in demand, but also each product of its processing:
- polished groats;
Processing products contain a sufficient amount of nutrients. So, they have:
- protein – 33.1%;
- fat – 18.5%;
- fiber – 4.9%;
- moisture – 9.8%;
- ash – 8.4%.
Therefore, all products are in demand in different industries, and are also part of animal feed, and at the same time, there is an improvement in many indicators. So, it was found that the cake has not only high nutritional value, but also has powerful immunostimulating, antiparasitic properties, and also significantly improves the reproductive functions of animals. Amaranth-enriched food helps improve meat quality and reduce the percentage of obesity in animals. Amaranth is used not only in traditional animal husbandry, but also in fisheries, on snail farms, for preparing food for cats and dogs of different breeds.
In many countries, amaranth processing has long become a highly profitable industry. Manufacturers earn about $ 500 million annually on amaranth oil alone. The profitability of growing amaranth is twice as high as that of sunflower, which creates serious competition in the market. In Ukraine, there are more than 30 amaranth producers. The areas occupied under amaranth range from several hectares to 150, as, for example, in Transcarpathia.
What gives amaranth to the body
Researchers argue that amaranth is characterized by high productivity, and the culture does not require the use of a number of chemicals necessary for growing, for example, barley. Grain of only amaranth feed varieties contains:
- 14-18% protein;
- 5-6% healthy fats;
- 55-62% starch;
- 5 micro and macro elements.
In comparison with other traditional cultures, amaranth has no equal protein indicators, and this is important for any organism. It is proved that, by consuming a plant, the body can not only provide the formed needs for proteins, but also create protein reserves. In terms of lysine content, for example, amaranth protein is 2 times higher than wheat protein. Due to the presence of lysine, the amaranth protein is called complete, since this amino acid in such an amount is not found in other plant proteins.
According to studies conducted in 1993 in Guatemala, amaranth protein is one of the most nutritious of all plant-based proteins. Moreover, it is very close in chemical composition to animal proteins.
More than half of the amaranth proteins are albumin and globulin with a balanced amino acid composition. This culture contains 18 of the 20 basic amino acids (both essential and non-essential), and this is not observed in any traditional fodder culture. The basis of fat is unsaturated fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, linolenic). By the content of such amino acids as lysine, tryptophan, arginine, amaranth surpasses almost all known leguminous crops.
Amaranth is rich in many useful substances. It serves as an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. This is the only grain that contains vitamin C, and in large quantities.
It turns out that not all components of amaranth were always known. An important discovery in 2008 was made by molecular biologists from Mexico. During the study of bioactive peptides in amaranth proteins, they found the lunazin peptide, which was previously identified only in soy. It has been experimentally proved that lunazin is an anti-cancer substance. In addition, the participation of this substance in the life of the body accelerates the elimination of inflammation in chronic diseases (such as arthritis, gout and others), protects against diabetes, cardiac diseases, and stroke.