Growth, Yield Performance and Quality Parameters of Three Early Flowering Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) Genotypes Cultivated in Southwestern Germany
The combination of consumer’s ongoing demand for chia (Salvia hispanica L.) alongside the increased demand for regionally produced food products provided the impetus for this study. Its aim was to test if a regional cultivation of new chia genotypes, which were adapted to day lengths greater than 12 h, is feasible under Central European conditions. Therefore, three early flowering chia genotypes (Sahi Alba 914, W13.1, G8) were cultivated in a randomized block design at two experimental stations in Southwestern Germany (Ihinger Hof, Eckartsweier) over the course of two years (2015, 2016). Mean yields ranged from 100 to 1290 kg ha−1. Mucilage content ranged from 9.5% to 12.2%, while the crude protein content ranged from 17.2% to 25.0%. Crude oil content fell in the range of 30.9–33.7% and the PUFA:SAT ratio ranged from 4.0 to 9.4, whereas the omega6:omega3 ratio varied from 0.27 to 0.5. As chia seed yields surpassed yield levels obtained by their countries of origin and as quality parameters obtained, were in line with the genotypes cultivated in their countries of origin, it can be assumed that a regional chia production in Southwestern Germany offers great potential, being ecologically and economically profitable.