Working Quinoa into a Prairie Crop Rotation

Quinoa being grown in trials at Scott Research Farm, Saskatchewan. Debra Murph, 2014
Quinoa being grown in trials at Scott Research Farm, Saskatchewan. Debra Murphy, 2014

The United Nations named 2013 the International Year of Quinoa for the crop’s potential contribution to global food security, and to recognize the indigenous people of the Andes who have long grown and protected quinoa. The global efforts to recognize the food have seemed fruitful, with interest in the product continuing to grow.

Often referred to as the “golden grain of the Andes,” quinoa is highly nutritious, providing a good source of fibre, energy, iron, zinc and a protein content higher than most grains.

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Quinoa is increasingly available as a “locally-grown” product to many Canadians. The Northern Quinoa Corp. works with producers to contract acres across the prairie provinces (over 5,000 this year), then cleans and processes the seed, to sell as a ready-to-cook end product.

For producers interested in trying the crop, it tends to fare best in dry, cooler conditions, and seems to do well around the Highway 16 corridor from Edmonton to Winnipeg.

In this video, Alister Muir, Natural Product Chemist with Northern Quinoa Corp. expands on what quinoa offers consumers and how contracts work (by the way, there are now roughly 5000 prairie acres seeded to quinoa). Muir also provides a basic understanding of the new variety developed in Canada, and what the future has in store for quinoa on the prairies.

Keen on audio-only? Download this interview on Soundloud or listen below.

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