A NEW variety of quinoa is set to boost opportunities for farmers to grow the increasingly popular superfood, with increased production potential for both local and international markets.
With promising results under both rain-fed and irrigated conditions, the new variety known as kruso white has proven suitable for winter and spring-autumn sowing, has wide adaptability, good yield and high seed quality.
The Australian developed, open access variety, kruso white, is being promoted as the key to transitioning quinoa from a niche, cottage crop to wider adoption across Australian broadacre farming environments.
AgriFutures Australia business development manager Michael Beer said the production of quinoa globally had climbed from 23,000 tonnes in 1990 to almost 200,000t in 2019.
DPIRD research scientist Dr Harmohinder Dhammu said the average yield of kruso white across 15 national trials was 1.5 tonnes/ha, with a yield range of 0.5-3.1t/ha.
Gross margins of kruso white production were found to be double that of wheat and canola under rainfed conditions at Geraldton, WA, assuming quinoa yield of just 1t/ha.
An agronomic package including weed control options, best management practice, improved techniques of seed processing and the economics of quinoa production is also available.
Rich in proteins and essential amino acids, quinoa has a reputation as a 'superfood', and is a gluten free substitute for other cereals. It's wide availability and the varied uses of the seeds for consumption has led to an increase in demand for quinoa worldwide.
The national quinoa project run during 2015-19 was funded by AgriFutures Australia, with co-investment from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
Access to bred kruso white will be available following the completion of an expression of interest program, which seeks to licence multiple organisations to bulk up and market the quinoa variety upon its commercial release.
The project, focused on investigating where and how quinoa can be grown across Australia, was also successful in developing the new variety, which is now ready for bulk up and commercialisation.
The story 'Superfood' quinoa set to go from boutique to broadacre first appeared on Queensland Country Life.