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Cultivation of Chía: Preparation // Sowing // Germination & Growt // Flowering // Fruiting // Harvest


Our Chía is obtained in alliance with medium and large scale farmers, minimum 100ha each, situated in the eastern and western regions of Paraguay, about 200 to 800km from the capital Asunción. Fields carefully chosen in areas where the climatic conditions are ideal for production. Using environmentally friendly agricultural production techniques, guided by our agronomist during cultivation and harvest. We have chosen to work only with agro-ecologic farming, natural cut so herbicide-free and pesticide-free. Chia is an easy crop to handle without the need for large investments, which is divided into:

Preparation

Soil preparation in conventional way with plowing and trailing, and if desired fertilized for a higher outcome.

Sowing

Planting time months January to April, during fall in the southern hemisphere as chía is a short-day crop, less than 12h daily. Direct sowing rate 4 to 6 kg of seed per hectare superficially in rows, in slightly humid soil according to the sowing distances, the seeds will be deposited in a continuous stream at a row spacing of 40 to 60 cm, 20 to 25 seeds per linear meter and a depth of 3 cm, and finally covered with a thin layer of very fine soil.

Germination & Growt

In one to two weeks the seeds will begin to sprout/germinate. Minimum and maximum growth temperatures between 11° and 36 °C, with an optimum range of 16 to 26 °C. Chía is a drought tolerant plant, one rainfall per week is enough, total desired preciptation during cultivation between 250 to 300 mm. Weeds can be a problem in early stages until canopy closes, mechanical weed control is prefered. 

Flowering

Three months after sowing, the plant is in the flowering season in need of cold at night in order to flower, fertilisation and give rise to the fruit (cold at night but without frost). Blue to lavender flowers for black chía and white flowers for white chía. It's normal petals to reniew various times daily.

Fruiting

Four months after sowing the plant is in the fruiting season. Heavvy rain and/or winds are not liked, as can cause significant seed fall and/or bending the plant. The plant, member of mint family (Lamiaceae), reaches on average between 0.70 to 1.70 m in height.

Harvest

Four and a half months to five months after sowing will begin the harvest season, months June to September. The harvest indicator is when 80% of the foliage of each plant presents loss of color turning from green to brown giving the appearance of dryness or death. When the indicated harvest time is exceeded, the mature seeds start to fall to the ground. There are two ways to harvest by combine harvester, in both cases it is recommended to harvest at night and about 5 days without precipitation beforehand:
  • "standing cut": cut, collect and thresing of the plants immediately. In case the humidity is higher than 8%, it should be dried within 12 hours after harvest (meanwhile airing).
  • "row cut": cut and leave the plants in rows to dry one to two weeks, then lifted and thresed (by hitting the plant the seeds will separate from their husks).
Yield ranges from approximately 450 to 1,250 kg/ha. Before we accept the result of the culture, we take a representative sample and do an internal physical analysis (humidity and purity among others) and an external one in a qualified laboratory for compliance according to the destination market regulations (microbiological, heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals among others). Once well-being has been verified, we transport the Chía to our own processing facility for cleaning, packaging and waiting to be shipped worldwide.