5 things you didn’t know about pulses

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Posted by KThompson920 from the Agriculture category at 28 Jun 2022 03:00:50 pm.
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Many of us think of pulses, such as beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, as food for people who follow plant-based diets, but pulses have grown more popular in recent years thanks to their nutritional benefits and affordability – even if we don’t realize that’s what they’re called.

So, what are pulses and why are they important? Here are five things you probably didn’t know about this key crop:

1. Canada is a global pulse powerhouse
Canadian pulses are some of the most sustainable crops in the world, helping to improve our air, water and soil, which collectively contribute to building a better planet.

On a global scale, Canadian farmers have been leading the production and supply of pulse exports worldwide for years, including more than a third of the world’s total lentils as well as 2.1 million tonnes of the total global production of peas.

2. Pulses help feed families worldwide
As our world continues to grow, pulse growers continue to innovate to meet the needs of our hungry planet. While 478,000 acres of Canadian farmland grew pulses in 1981, today this number has risen to 4.2 million acres of lentils and an additional 4.2 million acres of peas.

With the global demand for pulses having grown by more than 60 per cent across the last five years and 40 per cent of the world’s lentils coming from Canadian farmers, the need for Canada to continue showing up as a global leader in pulse production shows no signs of slowing down.

3. Pulses benefit the earth
Giving back to the earth to help revive depleted soil for better crops has always been crucial for Canadian farmers. Not only are pulse crops able to improve soil health, but they also offer benefits when grown in between different types of crops.

Including pulses within a crop rotation also carries sustainability benefits for the crops grown immediately afterward, which can lead to higher yields of crops like wheat and barley with higher protein values due to soil fertility, water, and soil microbial benefits.

4. Innovation is helping to futureproof this crop
With many consumers eager for more sustainable products, the agricultural industry must continually innovate to help farmers grow these strong crops.

BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions is one company that’s continuing to invest in innovation through its partnership with the University of Regina’s Crop Development Centre. Since its establishment in 1971, the CDC has played a vital role in delivering innovative solutions for pulse growers across the country.

5. Pulses are key to the future
Sustainability is a driving force for the agri-food sector, and Canadian pulses will continue to play a key role this country’s agriculture industry. In 2021, the federal government announced $4.3 million to support pulse crops by helping farmers meet the growing demand for sustainable, high-quality plant-based protein.

This investment, coupled with ensuring growers have the right tools and resources in place to keep growing this crop, will help set up our pulse farmers for success.

Find more information at agriculture.basf.ca/west (NC)
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