The popularity of grain amaranth and quinoa is growing in Ontario, increasing the interest in their cultivation. Two experiments were conducted in southern Ontario in 2013 and 2014 to evaluate optimal planting date (every two weeks from early May to late July), row width (38 or 75 cm), and critical weed-free period (the component of the critical period of weed control that defines the number of days that the crop must remain weed-free to prevent yield loss) in each crop. Grain amaranth and quinoa both reached physiological maturity and produced yields when planting dates ranged from mid-May to late-June. When either crop was seeded in July, yields decreased by more than 50% and the crop did not always reach maturity before the first frost. While row width did not have an impact on yield, it is advisable to grow the crops in wider rows (75 cm) to facilitate weed control early in the growing season (up to 30 d after emergence (DAE)). The critical weed-free period was 24 and 16 DAE for grain amaranth and quinoa, respectively, after which yields were maintained at 95% of the weed-free control. Based on these data, both crops could easily be integrated into the normal cropping rotations found in southern Ontario.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3