Chia Production in North Dakota
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Brenda
Posted on: May 16, 2008

I would like to experiment growing with chia over here in the southwest corner of North Dakota. It’s like the desert here and I have been told that chia originates from Africa. If your seed would work for cropping, how much per acre would I need to plant and which would be best -- row or broadcasting?

Chia (Salvia hispanica) is actually a native of Mexico, not Africa. It is an annual that grows up to 1 meter (40 inches) tall. It requires full sun and light sandy or medium loam soils that are well-drained. It is frost tender, so it must be sown after the threat of frost is past.

We are not sure if it will succeed in your area because it needs warm summers to flower and set seed. Where the summers are short and cool it may not produce seeds before the frosts kill the plants in fall. Home gardeners can start the seeds indoors where the summers are too cool or too short for direct sowing in the garden.

There are 750-1000 seeds per gram. You could try broadcast sowing at 1-2 kg per acre.

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