Taking the Pulse of Lentils, Peas and Chickpeas (Ep. 5207)

For years, crops like peas were regarded mostly as a cover crop, helping to slow erosion, improve soil health, and manage weeds and pests between plantings of other profit-generating crops. All valuable parts of production management, but not a direct source of revenue. At best, the cover crop might become animal feed. In the last few years however, that's changing. Peas are part of a group of plants known as pulse crops, and Montana is now the leading pulse producer in the country. This week's special panel includes researchers, economists, and growers. Montana pulse crops, including peas, lentils, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans), become meat protein substitutes, niche boutique foods, gluten-free products, and are exported around the world. We'll discuss the pros and cons of growing pulse crops, and the current domestic and world market trends.