Wageningen UR has sown the first quinoa fields at its test facilities in Lelystad and Vredepeel. A number of fields have been sown for nitrogen trials and a number of fields for research into varieties. A further five hectares have been sown for conventional cultivation.
Sand and clay
The research into varieties is taking place at two locations in order to discover whether the varieties grow well in clay soil (Lelystad) or sandy soil (Vredepeel). In addition, the trials will be used to examine which quinoa varieties ripen early. Ruud Timmer, crop expert at Wageningen UR, explains: 'Quinoa is a crop that does not ripen until late in the season, around mid-September. During rainy periods in the autumn it is difficult to harvest the crop in a dry state, as the days are getting shorter and the sun is getting weaker. In the variety trial, we will be looking at which varieties ripen earliest. In addition, we will look at which variety gives the greatest yields.'
No plant protection products
During the season, the properties of the varieties will also be monitored. Ruud Timmer explains: 'When growing quinoa, the use of plant protection products is prohibited, even for conventional crops. With this research, we aim to discover which varieties are most resistant to diseases and pests.'
This year, the researchers will also look at the nematodes in the soil for the first time. By analyzing the soil before and after the trial, the researchers will gain an initial impression of which harmful nematodes may increase in number when quinoa is cultivated.