top of page
  • Writer's pictureSven-Erik Jacobsen

The importance of sowing technique and establishment of quinoa

The fast germination of quinoa in comparison to the weeds is an important trait to minimize weed competition as no selective herbicides are available, and organic farmers will have to rely on mechanical weed control.

A fast establishment can be further improved when optimizing the sowing technique (Jacobsen & Christiansen 2016). The precision drill on 50 cm is superior to the cereal sowing machine sowing on 12 cm. Quinoa must be sown superficially, and the precise placement of the seed in rows in a soil with a good capillary structure is important. The wider row spacing used with this technique will also facilitate weed hoeing. Previously a significant yield increase after hoeing has been demonstrated, which could not only be explained from weed pressure, but must also be related to aeration of the soil and increased mineralization of N (Jacobsen et al. 2010).

It is easier to prepare a uniform seed bed in a light, sandy soil, but also more difficult to maintain humidity for germination and emergence. What is always important is that the seed for sowing is of highest quality with respect to viability, germination percentage and germination rate (Jacobsen et al. 1999).

The recommendations given here are also valid for other small seeded crops like amaranth, chia, sesame, millets and teff. 


Jacobsen, S.-E. (2017). The scope for adaptation of quinoa in Northern latitudes of Europe. J. Agro.Crop Sci. 203:603–613. DOI: 10.1111/jac.12228

Jacobsen, S.-E. and J. L. Christiansen. 2016. Some Agronomic Strategies for Organic Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). J Agro Crop Sci. Vol. 202, Nr. 6, 2016, s. 454-463. doi:10.1111/jac.12174

Jacobsen, S.-E., B. Joernsgaard, J. L. Christiansen, and O. Stolen, 1999: Effect of harvest time, drying technique, temperature and light on the germination of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Seed Sci. Technol. 27, 937–944

Jacobsen, S.-E., J. L. Christiansen, and J. Rasmussen, 2010: Weed harrowing and inter-row hoeing in organic grown quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). Outlook Agric. 39, 223–227.


bottom of page