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What's Happening in Pulse Crops?
Episode 124th March 2020 • Growing Pulse Crops • Pulse Crops Working Group
00:00:00 00:19:36

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Welcome to Growing Pulse Crops Podcast! In our first episode we speak with Tim McGreevy, CEO of the American Pulse Association. Tim explains how pulse crops became a priority in the farm bill and what federal funds has helped them to accomplish. The Pulse Crop initiative expanded research in nutrition data for these crops as well as the benefits to the cropping system. 

Pulse crops play an integral role in “supporting sustainable agricultural systems around the world.” This has led to recognition and designation of 2016 being the international year of pulses by the United Nations. The US and Canada, top competitors in the industry, joined forces to take advantage of this opportunity and promote awareness for pulse crops. This effort has led to “exciting product innovation in plant based foods.”

“We (pulses) are in beverages, we’re in baked goods, we’re in pastas, we’re in deserts. We are in everything now and it’s growing.” - Tim McGreevy

Despite this recognition and promotion, the industry as a hole has faced more recent obstacles. Trade tariffs have resulted in some varieties, especially peas, lentils and chickpeas, to be priced below the cost of production. Another set back involved a recent announcement from the FDA suggesting a correlation between grain-free pet foods using pulse crops as substitutes for conventional grains and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. The research to verify the causation of diet induced dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs is ongoing but unfortunately consumer confusion has led to a fall in demand of these crops by pet food companies.

Despite these difficulties, McGreevy see’s a bright future ahead for the pulse crop industry. Recent annual research reviews highlight the techniques to “raise high quality disease free products” that put nitrogen back into the soil. They also suggest product innovation to fit these crops better into mainstream food supplies and will hopefully lead the way to an expansion of their available market. 

This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:

  • Meet Tim McGreevy, CEO of the American Pulse Association
  • Explore the benefits of pulse crops in todays agricultural landscape
  • Learn about the collaborations and successes made by the Pulse Crop Industry
  • Hear about the difficulties faced by the industry in recent years 
  • Discover the actions taken to overcome these issues and the bright future ahead for pulse crops

Growing Pulse Crops Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.