Consumer interest in amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) as a food ingredient has been primarily due to the positive nutritional characteristics of the grain, although some of the interest is undoubtedly due to the colourful history of the crop as a "lost" grain.

Amaranthus agronomy information

Market demand for amaranth has fluctuated over the last decade, but there has been steady use of the crop for breakfast cereals, snack foods, and more recently, in mass-produced multi-grain bread products. Most typically, amaranth products are sold in the health food sections of grocery stores, in speciality food stores, or through direct marketing. Amaranth to date has only appeared in "mainstream" products when used as a minor component of multigrain foods.

Amaranth should be grown on light soils and drilled into a fine, firm seedbed from mid-May to mid-June to encourage good germination. Emergence can be slow and is affected by weed competition, but the aim is for 30 plants per square metre. Harvest occurs from early to mid-September using a conventional combine. Seed heads can shatter during combining and losses of up to 50% can occur. Typical combine yields are about 0.7-1.4t/ha, although crops of up to 3t/ha have been recorded in Europe.

Recommended amaranthus fertiliser programme

amaranthus fertiliser recomendations