Skip to content.

Some features of this website require Javascript to be enabled for best usibility. Please enable Javascript to run.


Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include: Common Buckwheat

Latin Name: Fagopyrum esculentum

Plant Family: Polygonaceae

Close Relatives: Wild buckwheat, Knotweed, Sheepsorrel

Uses and Markets: Culinary - cereals, buckwheat honey and flour.   Agricultural - livestock feed, green manure cover crop.  Major producers include the former Soviet Union, China, Brazil, Poland, France, Japan, United States, South Africa, and Australia. Most Canadian buckwheat is marketed to Japan.

Field of flowering buckwheat)Buckwheat seeds
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

AC Manitoba, Koban, Koto, Mancan, Manor are commercial varieties currently registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  This list may change.  No variety performance trials have been conducted in Ontario..

Propagation method

Seed at 50-65 kg/ha (140-183 plants/m2) at a depth of 4-6 cm.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Late spring (after risk of frost has passed) or mid-summer (avoids flowering during the hot summer and avoids spring and fall frosts. If seeding for a late summer cover crop, fall frosts will prevent the plants from producing volunteer seeds because the plants will be killed by frost).

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing


Between row spacing

17-19 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



Refer to the OMAFRA publication 811, Agronomy for Field Crops for fertility recommendations for buckwheat.

Soil type

Light to medium textured soils (will grow better on poor soil then other grain crops).

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit

Weed control to establish a weed free planting field is critical for obtaining good buckwheat stands..

Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Cold sensitive, Frost sensitive.  Germinates above 7°C. Optimal growing temperature is 20°C.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation usually not required.

Days to harvest

84-108 days

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Single Harvest

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine Harvest

Quality parameters/grades

The Canadian Grain Commission defines Canadian grain standards and assesses the grade of grains against these standards.

Additional Harvest Notes

Swath when 75% of seeds are mature.  Swath when dew is present or in damp weather to minimize losses due to shattering. Direct cut when 75-95% of the seeds are mature.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Buckwheat seeds should be dried in the field or artificially to a moisture content of 16%.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): To maintain 13-16% moisture.

Temperature: -6.6 to 1.0°C

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: Up to 2 years.

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Lygus bugs, tarnished plant bugs

Diseases: White mould (Sclerotinia), Rhizoctonia root rot, nematodes.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Grasshoppers, cutworms, wireworms, aphids, Japanese

Diseases: Fungal leaf spots (Ramularia spp., Botrytis), downy mildew

Other: Deer*, birds*

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions. 


This crop may increase populations of root lesion nematodes in the soil. Buckwheat seldom has insect or disease concerns. Weed control can be difficult and requires planning, since there are few herbicides available.  To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: white mould, Rhizoctonia. This crop is in Crop Group 15: Cereal Grains. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Additional Notes

Buckwheat grain should make up only one third of the beef or dairy rotation in livestock feed.  Feeding fresh or dried fodder can cause photosensitivity in animals with light-coloured skin (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep, swine and turkey), and to a lesser extent, jaundice. This plant is also considered to be a weedy species in Ontario. 

Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile


  1. Canadian Grain Commission. 2009. Canadian Buckwheat.
  2. ECIPM. 2002. 2001 Pest Management Research Report (PMRR) 2001 Growing Season. Agriculture and Food Canada. Pg 221
  3. Eskelsen, S. R., and G. D. Crabtree. 1995. The Role of Allelopathy in Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sagittatum) Inhibition of Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense). 43:70-74
  4. Goverment of Alberta: Agriculture and Rural Development. 2001. Common Buckwheat.
  5. Komaki, M. K. 1982. Inbreeding depression and concealed deleterious mutations in buckwheat populations, Fagopyrum esculentum. Japanese Journal of Genetics. 57:361-370
  6. Leep, R.H. 1981. Buckwheat Production in Michigan. Michigan State University, Extension Bulletin E-1523.
  7. OMAFRA. 2011. Ontario Weeds.
  8. OMAFRA.2002. Agronomy Guide For Field Crops: Publication 811. Toronto: OMAF and MRA
  9. OMAFRA. 2011. Cover Crops: Buckwheat.
  10. Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. 2007. Buckwheat: A versatile Short-Season Crop.
  11. Wilcke, B. 2009. Buckwheat Harvesting, Drying and Storage.