Investigation of amaranth cultivation and utilisation in Lithuania
Šiauliai University, P. Višinskio 25, Šiauliai, Lithuania; e-mail: email@example.com
Studies of amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) collections have been carried out at the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture since 1978. During the period of 1998–2001, 13 varieties and populations of amaranth and some parameters of amaranth growing technology (sowing time, seed rate, row spacing, etc.) were investigated. The amaranth was grown in the six-course perennial grass breeding crop rotation after ploughed-in first year clover, sown after black fallow without additional fertilising and pesticides.
Preliminary amaranth growing technology was elaborated. The highest yield was produced when amaranth had been sown in the middle of May, at a seed rate of 2–4 kg ha-1, with row spacings of 50 cm and thrashed dry after severe frosts (-3…-5°C). The technology needs further improvement, and it is especially necessary to investigate fertilisation of amaranth in ecological and conventional farming systems.
Three amaranth varieties – ‘Raudonukai’, ‘Geltonukai’ and ‘Rausvukai’ – were registered in Lithuania in 2001. It is necessary to continue selection of amaranth species and varieties best suited for local conditions and investigate possibilities for use of amaranth green material and seed for food, feed, and energy production.