Growing Quinoa

Asked March 28, 2016, 12:17 PM EDT

I'm interested in trying a small area to grow quinoa this year in some marginal soil. Is there additional MN test information I can read the results of? What seed variety does best in SE MN? Thank you

Olmsted County Minnesota

1 Response

I can't find much on testing of quinoa in Minnesota or recommended varieties. According to high summer temperatures will likely be a problem, but your marginal soil may not. From the Purdue link:

IV. Environment Requirements:

A. Climate:

Quinoa requires short daylengths and cool temperatures for good growth. Areas in South America where it is still produced tend to be marginal agricultural areas that are prone to drought and have soils with low fertility. Cultivated quinoa will flower and produce seed at high elevations between 7,000 and 10,000 ft in Colorado since it requires a cool temperature for good vegetative growth. Research conducted in Colorado reported that temperatures which exceeded 95°F tended to cause plant dormancy or pollen sterility. In several years of trials near the Twin Cities, Minnesota, quinoa plants have failed to set seed; probably due to high temperatures.

Varieties that can handle higher temps are being developed, but I did not find any test results.