The feed is made up of seeds and vegetative matter in the form of grass, silage, or hay. Amaranth grows vigorously and produces a high yield not only of seeds (up to 6 t/ha) but also of green matter (up to 100 t/ha), which is very high in protein. The protein in the leaves is easy to extract and is superior to most legume species in terms of the amino acid balance, opagalysine content (Og/100g protein). They are superior to maize in terms of productivity, feed units, digestible proteins, etc. The leaves of Amaranth are high in dry matter (due to ash and fiber) and the minerals are particularly rich in Ca, Fe, and K. The green matter for salads is harvested when the plants reach a height of 10-30 cm, and that for fodder during the bud-bloom phase. Cuttings from this phase produce good regrowth and atoll growth before autumn. After flowering, the leaves and stems become coarse, crumbly, brittle, and less nutritious. It should be noted that the stems, which look rather coarse on the outside, remain juicy and brittle until the end of the growing season.
In the USA, experts recommend making pellets with a feed value of 0,8 feed units even from the cuttings. Most of the Amaranth is grown for seed. Earlier and weaker species and varieties are preferred.
Some varieties and species are suitable for both seed and green fodder production. Late maturing species and varieties are generally suitable for fodder production. In Russia, the most widely grown and researched medium-growing bromegrasses and varieties are suitable for both seed and vegetative matter. The seeds of Amaranth are mostly used in the ground form for fodder, as the unground form is indigestible by most livestock. The green matter, silage, and haylage are readily eaten by a wide range of animals, even ostriches, and bison. It has been shown that Amaranth increase animal fertility, increase the quality of production and reduce the cost of production.
In China, bacon fat-fed on feed supplemented with Amaranth has thin layers of juicy meat. In Poland and parts of Russia, the yield of Amaranth seed is 3-6 t/ha and of green matter 15-20 t/ha. The green pulp of Amaranth has been found to be very suitable as a green tract Many species and varieties of Amaranth are very ornamental for the production of decorative bouquets. In addition, Amaranth can be combined with maize, sunflower, and some other crops. Amaranth hay is very suitable for feeding pigs and keeps well in the trenches for 3 years.
Silage tests carried out on the pure green matter and on mixtures with perennial grasses, sugar beet leaves and maize showed that the quality of the silage was very good for all the variants. The same studies on the supplementation of Amaranth seed meal showed that it had a positive effect on pig growth and meat yield.
In conclusion, research has shown that Amaranth has a positive effect on growth performance and carcass yield in lambs, calves, rabbits, geese, and broiler chickens. When calves were fed calf weights per day were 12-17% higher than when fed maize silage alone, and the cost of production was reduced by 8-11%. Supplementing the diet with up to 30% Amaranth seed meal increased the laying performance and egg weight of Leghorn hens. The literature also indicates that Amaranth seed meal does not increase the protein and cholesterol levels in the blood of broiler chickens, which has a positive effect on their viability. It is clear that feeds containing Amaranth seed meal, grass, and hay are superior and alternative to conventional GM soya meal. It is an important source of protein, allowing a better matching of the feed-in in terms of essential amino acids and trace elements.
For many years, the yield performance of some species and varieties of soybean has been studied. The trials were carried out after plowing up the clover in the first year of use, without additional fertilizer and pesticides (under extensive or organic farming conditions), which resulted in low yields. Weeds were controlled by weeding the row spacing and weeding the rows. The varieties studied differed significantly in height, earliness, and yield.
In 2016, a special trial was set up for some varieties and numbers of Amaranth to assess the yield and quality of the vegetative matter.
The green matter and dry matter yields of some varieties and recent numbers of sainfoin show that, even in very dry years, growing sainfoin for fodder can be done in 2 cuts, yielding between 30 and 46″ of green matter and 4 to 6 t/ha of valuable hay. The difference between the yields of the first and the second cut is small. In a normal year, the yield of grass in the first cut is 2-3 times higher than that of the atoll. This can be explained by the fact that the first half of the summer in 2016 was very dry and the growth rate of sainfoin was slow. After the first harvest, they rebounded strongly after the rains and gave a good yield of II grass. A repeat of the trial is planned for 2017.