Quinoa Crop Update – August 16, 2018

Evan Elford, OMAFRA New Crop Development Specialist
Melanie Filotas, OMAFRA Horticulture Integrated Pest Management Specialist

At this point in the growing season we typically receive calls from quinoa growers about goosefoot groundling moth (Scrobipalpa artiplicella), tarnished plant bug (TPB) (Lygus lineolaris), quinoa downy mildew (Peronospora farinosasp. Chenopodii) and Passalora leaf spot. These insects and diseases are commonly found each season in Ontario quinoa fields.

Currently there are no registered pest-control products for most insects and diseases on quinoa in Canada. However, Dipel and Bioprotec (Bacillus thuringiensis) are registered for use on some caterpillars in quinoa (i.e. European Corn Borer and Armyworms). However, these products must be applied when caterpillars are actively feeding and are most effective when they are small.

In previous years, caterpillars, in particular goosefoot groundling moth, have led to complete destruction of the crop at some grower sites in the province, so scouting, early identification, and management of the pest is important.

Lep Pest OMAF photo 2

Goosefoot Groundling Moth larvae (caterpillar)

TPB has a wide host range and multiple generations through the season. They feed on reproductive organs of plants and cause mechanical damage. In quinoa, the developing seeds are typically affected and the general sense is that TPB is a leading cause of low harvest index.


Tarnished Plant Bug (TPB) adult

Quinoa downy mildew and Passalora leaf spot are diseases that have been documented over a few growing seasons in Ontario. To date they have only been recorded as minor infections affecting mainly the lower leaves of the plants.

Quinoa downy mildew on leaves

Quinoa downy mildew on quinoa leaves

For more information on quinoa production in Ontario:
OMAFRA Quinoa Crop Profile
OMAFRA Agronomy Guide for Field Crops Pub 811, Chapter 7: ‘Other Crops’ 
Optimal planting date, row width, and critical weed-free period for grain amaranth and quinoa grown in Ontario, Canada (Nurse, R.E. et al., 2016.  Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Vol. 96 No. 3 pp.360-366)
Crop Injury And Yield Response Of Quinoa To Applications Of Various Herbicides (Crop Advances: Field Crop Reports, 2015)
Quinoa Variety Assessment in Eastern Ontario (Crop Advances: Field Crop Reports, 2014)
Keen-what? Quinoa: Things to consider for quinoa production (ONOrganic Newsletter, September 2013)

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