Exciting Time For Pulse Crops
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Tim McGreevy, CEO of the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council says there are two initiatives that farm bill conferees are being asked to support that could significantly benefit the nation's pulse crop industry.
MCGREEVY: A joint letter led by Senator Cantwell and others asks the conferees to keep the Pulse Health Initiative - Research Initiative for pulse crops, meaning dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas in the farm bill, as well as the Pulse School Food Pilot Program. We're hopeful that both those initiatives will remain in the final farm bill.
The Pulse Health Initiative would authorize research grants for five years at $25 million per year. The research would look into the health and nutrition benefits of pulse crops, as well as ways to grow them more efficiently. Washington is the top chickpea producer in the nation and third in the nation for pea and lentil production. There are currently over 1,000 farms producing pulse crops in the state, and such an initiative could more than double the total farmed acres of pulse crops in Washington over the next five to ten years.
McGreevy says that there are a lot of opportunities for pulse crops and it's an exciting time to be in the industry.
MCGREEVY: I think these pulse crops offer so much nutritionally to our nation's citizens, as well as the citizens around the world, that you just can't ignore them. They are truly super foods and there is a demand for them, and we expect our production to continue to grow in the United States and in this region. Nothing but really positive news on the pea, lentil, and chickpea fronts. We just keep marching along. We are hopeful obviously that our elected officials will pass a farm bill and that some of our provisions are included in that farm bill.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.