Archive - March 2022

The cultivation of Teff

The cultivation of Teff

Writing an article on Teff cultivation brings back memories of the first articles written on the quinoa, now almost 10 years ago, when quinoa, as well as Teff today, was a virtually unknown crop in Italy. A few years later, with happiness we can say that the progress of Italian quinoa, both qualitatively and quantitatively, has certainly been valuable. This premise on the evolution of quinoa as a crop alternative is simply meant to be a wish that Teff may follow the same path. In fact, we believe that the potential of Teff, at the agronomic level, may be even greater than that of quinoa both for its rusticity and for its versatility that allows both spring and second-crop planting.


What is teff?
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teff cultivation

L’epoca di semina del teff va dalla metà di marzo alla metà di maggio per quanto riguarda la semina primaverile, mentre in secondo raccolto, la semina avviene normalmente a fine primavera, in questo caso la pianta ha bisogno ovviamente di irrigazione.

Where to buy black and white Teff seeds
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Since this is a very small seed, the seedbed must be optimally prepared. To prevent the seed from falling too deep, rolling before sowing is recommended. In any case, an imperfectly prepared soil can be remedied by increasing the seeding density.

Planting can be done in rows (like wheat) or by scattering. The plant competes very well with weeds by covering the ground evenly.  

The amount of seed needed is, indicatively, 10-15 kg/ha, on suboptimal seedbeds it is recommended to increase the density. The seed should remain on the surface, 1-1.5 cm, which is why on coarser soils more seed is recommended.

Since Teff is a cereal, the same fertilizers and amounts that are used for straw cereals can be used for background fertilization.


The vegetative phase

During the vegetative phase, teff does not require any special interventions, its rusticity means that it is tolerant to all the typical cereal diseases, some strimming can be done at the tillering stage, and a covering fertilization can be done, but without exaggerating with nitrogen to avoid allurement. If grown as a second crop, some irrigation should be done to maintain moisture in the soil.

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The Gathering

Teff, like all straw cereals, is harvested by combine harvester; however, different techniques can be used.

Il metodo classico utilizzato per i cereali è sicuramente l’alternativa più rapida e conveniente, utilizzando una mietitrebbia con crivelli adeguati (come quelli da erba medica o trifoglio) e cercando di non raccogliere il prodotto troppo secco onde evitare eccessive perdite di seme.

In stagioni particolarmente umide, su appezzamenti nei quali sono presenti molte infestanti (Il Teff normalmente non ha problemi di infestanti) o in caso di eccessivo allettamento, un’ottima opzione è lo sfalcio della pianta ancora non completamente secca, seguita da trebbiatura una volta essiccata (ideale sarebbe una testata Pick up sulla mietitrebbia, ma si riesce a farlo molto bene anche con una testata normale da cereale cercando di effettuare lo sfalcio non troppo vicino al suolo).


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