Since the 1990's North Dakota has seen more of it's fields covered with peas, lentils and other pulse crops.
In this week's Eye on Agriculture, Bonnie Campo takes us to a Pulse Crop seminar at the North Central Research Extension Center in Minot for a better idea of the challenges farmers face.
Imagine being able to get both side to every story, well farmers attending Pulse Day at the Ag extension got just that. As they showed researchers snapshots of their own fields, researchers showed them their data, and the education helps everyone involved.
(Julie Pasche, Researcher at North Dakota State University) "We certainty go out and tour fields, but you can only look at so many, and your only there at a certain time point The growers that see it progress throughout the year know their fields, know the soil conditions, know the local weather condition. They're the ones that we really learn from, and how how do we go forward to help them."
They organize these series of meeting to prevent future devastation.
(Julie Pasche, Researcher at North Dakota State University) "See what might be problematic for them, and then try to come up with some solutions before things get to far out of hand."
In 2006 North Dakota had about 600 thousand acres of pulse crops, as of last year that number has dropped to around 300 thousand. A number of factors contributed to the loss.
(Julie Pasche, Researcher at North Dakota State University) "The first decade for so of pea and lentil production in North Dakota, there weren't a lot of of problems, and then after you grow a crop for awhile then those sorts of things start to increase."
(Julie Pasche, Researcher at North Dakota State University) "Part of that is weather, certainly the rain. It does not help any of the crops, but the growers will tell you that peas don't like their feet wet."
With the long wet cycle North Dakota continues to experience, it makes it hard to predict what seed to plant and what crops to rotate, but that's why they continue banding together to find what works. In Minot, Bonnie Campo KX News.
The Ag extension will have another meeting, July 16th.