Farm Progress

The first-time event in Grant is designed for growers to network and learn about marketing and production opportunities.

Tyler Harris, Editor

January 9, 2018

4 Min Read
GROWING INTEREST: Field pea acres in Nebraska increased from 10,000 to about 60,000 acres from 2011 to 2017, and Extension educator Strahinja Stepanovic says interest continues to grow.

Pulse crops have enjoyed dramatic growth in acres in Nebraska over the last several years. From 2011 to 2017, planted field peas acreage in Nebraska increased from 10,000 to about 60,000 acres, the number of certified seed dealers increased from two to eight, and Nebraska has become home for three field pea processing facilities with New Alliance in Bridgeport, Gavilon in Hastings and Redwood Group-Agriforce Seed in Venango.

Growers interested in learning more about growing and marketing pulse crops like field peas, chickpeas and black-eyed peas won't want to miss the first Pulse Crops Expo at the Henry J. Stumpf International Wheat Center in Grant on Jan. 18.

Pulse crop opportunities
Strahinja Stepanovic, Nebraska Extension cropping systems educator and organizer of the event, says the expo is designed to help connect farmers with pedigreed seed companies, certified seed dealers, and buyers and processors.

"I think the farmers are really getting a handle on yellow pea production. The next question is: How can they balance or fine-tune their production inputs and marketing strategies to be more profitable?" Stepanovic says. "This meeting will help farmers gain access to multiple different markets and seek out best-quality certified seed at a competitive price."

Along with industry updates, the meeting will include brief presentations on crop insurance and production of field peas, chickpeas and black-eyed peas. In between the sessions, growers will have more than two hours to follow up and network with pulse crop industry representatives, including three pedigreed seed companies, eight certified seed dealers, and seven pulse crop producers and buyers.

And Stepanovic says interest in pulse crops like field peas, chickpeas, dry beans and black-eyed peas will continue to grow in Nebraska.

"We have indication that pulse crops are going to continue to spread farther east in Nebraska. Last year, we added a field pea plot near Bladen. This year, we're putting in a new research plot at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead," he says. "We're looking at planting different varieties of pulse crops, and double-cropping them with short-season corn, short-season soybeans, short-season milo, different forages and cover crop grazing mixes. That's what gets me excited; in eastern Nebraska you're talking about nine months of growing that can suppress weeds, help prevent insect and disease outbreaks, improve water use efficiency, and provide benefits to your soil, rotation and bottom line."

On the agenda
The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast and will last until 3:30 p.m., although a discussion on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's role in the future of pulse crop production, including potential for winter pea and chickpea production, will take place at 5 p.m.

Registration is required by Jan 16. To register, call the Perkins County Extension office at 308-352-4340 or email Stepanovic at [email protected].

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. – Welcome reception (light breakfast)
9:30 to 9:45 a.m. – Federal Crop Insurance Update by Cody McCaan of RMA
9:45 to 10 a.m. – Farmers Business Network on yellow peas contracts
10 to 10:30 a.m. – 90-second rapid-fire industry talks:
 Great Northern Ag, Plaza, N.D.
 Meridian Seed, Mapleton, N.D.
 Pulse USA, Bismarck, N.D.
 Agriforce/Olsen Seed, Venango, Neb.  
 Arrow Seed, Broken Bow, Neb.  
 Carlson Seed, Callaway, Neb.  
 Green Cover Seed, Bladen, Neb.  
 Luhrs Certified Seed, Imperial, Neb.  
 Peters Seed Farms, McCook, Neb.  
 Prairie Sky Seed, Hemingford, Neb.  
 Roberts Seed, Axtell, Neb.  
 TH Equipment, Westfield, Ind.  
 Grain Place Foods, Marquette, Neb.  

10:30 to 11 a.m. – Networking session
11 to 11:45 a.m. – Pulse grain processing panel:
 Gavilon Grain, Hastings, Neb.  
 Redwood Group, Mission, Kan.  
 Montana Integrity, Galata, Mont.  
 World Foods Processing, Oskaloosa, Iowa  

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. – networking session
1 to 1:45 p.m. – UNL yellow field pea research update
1:45 to 2:30 p.m. – Black-eyed pea production and marketing with Jason Webb, Trinidad Benham
2:30 to 3 p.m. – Networking session
3 to 3:30 pm – Chickpeas production basics
3:30 p.m. – adjourn
5 p.m. – discussion on UNL's role in future of pulse crops

The Pulse Crops Expo is sponsored by SARE and other pulse crop industry partners and has no registration fee. Free breakfast and lunch will be served. Registered participants will receive a booklet containing up-to-date production information and information from each business present.

About the Author(s)

Tyler Harris

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Tyler Harris is the editor for Wallaces Farmer. He started at Farm Progress as a field editor, covering Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Before joining Farm Progress, Tyler got his feet wet covering agriculture and rural issues while attending the University of Iowa, taking any chance he could to get outside the city limits and get on to the farm. This included working for Kalona News, south of Iowa City in the town of Kalona, followed by an internship at Wallaces Farmer in Des Moines after graduation.

Coming from a farm family in southwest Iowa, Tyler is largely interested in how issues impact people at the producer level. True to the reason he started reporting, he loves getting out of town and meeting with producers on the farm, which also gives him a firsthand look at how agriculture and urban interact.

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