What Does It Take to Grow Quinoa?


Looking for a new crop to add to your rotation? Would you like to decrease disease and pest severity, while increasing your bottom line? Struggling to find a profitable crop? Quinoa may be the crop to help address these challenges. At NorQuin we specialize in growing quinoa locally. In this article we will discuss what it takes to grow quinoa on the Prairie provinces.

Choice of land is important as it sets you up for the high yields. Well-drained, loamy soils, and steady topography are best when making a field selection, however quinoa is very adaptable and is being grown successfully right across the Prairie provinces. Seeding time can bring many challenges, what to seed first, frost tolerance of crops. Quinoa can be seeded mid-May and has a great tolerance to frost at both ends of the season. No specialized seeding equipment is needed to put quinoa in the ground! Input costs such as fertilizer are very similar to canola.

Quinoa can give you a break in disease cycles, as it does not host the same pathogens as other cash crops like canola. It also does not have an adverse relationship with beneficial fungi in the soil, which increases fungi numbers and generates a healthier soil. Insects are noted to attack quinoa, but it will not host certain insect pests, being a non-host can decrease the population of some insects.

Quinoa is ready to harvest within 95–120 days, depending on the variety and environmental conditions, from seeding date. As with seeding, no special equipment is required to harvest quinoa. The quinoa is then processed right here in Saskatchewan and distributed all around the world. We are always looking to work with new growers. If you are interested in growing this year, or in the future, please get in contact with us.