How to grow

Amaranth is a broadleaf plant that could be mistaken for soybeans early in the growing season by someone driving past a field. Late in the season, however, there is no mistaking this striking, tall crop which develops brilliantly colored grain heads producing thousands of tiny seeds. Amaranth was a major food of the Aztecs and earlier American cultures, having been domesticated thousands of years ago.

Amaranth began to be grown as a grain crop in the U.S. in the late 1970’s. Although grown on only a few thousand acres each year, it is a common food item in the health food section of grocery stores.

The relatively high price of amaranth, while good for farmers, is a factor limiting the extent of its current use in the food marketplace. Still, the valuable characteristics of amaranth grain, combined with its adaptation to a wide range of growing areas, make it a very promising crop for the future.

Read more about Amaranth production on the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute Web site

Click here to read the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute Amaranth Production Guide (pdf)