Pulse School: Are lupins the answer to aphanomyces?

(Chase Chambers/RealAgriculture)

Growing a new crop can be tricky for a number of different reasons. There are so many unknowns, and at the end of the day, a farmer needs to know they will make a profit off the crop.

Robyne Bowness Davidson, pulse specialist at Lakeland College, has been working with lupins for 20 years. The difference between then and now, she says, is growers have found a market for it and the crop continues to make gains. One big positive is that the plant seems to be resistant to the dreaded aphanomyces, which can cause extreme destruction to pea and lentil acres.

Aphanomyces has been taking out pulse acres for years — but more recently, it has caused many producers to take pulses out of their rotation completely.

As Bowness Davidson explains in this episode of the RealAgriculture Pulse School, if a farmer has the ability to bring lupins into the rotation, then pulse research will have the opportunity to give farmers another protein crop that they can keep in their rotation.

When considering protein levels, field peas come in somewhere around 20 to 25 percent protein, faba beans are 28 to 32, but lupins actually start at 32 percent protein, going up as high as 40, making it sought after for the feed market.

Learn more about the two main varieties of lupins, European and Australian research, and uses for the crop in this interview with Robyne Bowness Davidson.


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