Pulses are racing across the globe today (February 10) – at least in a metaphorical sense – as industry and consumers unite to celebrate the 2018 Global Pulse Day.
As edible seeds of legume plants, pulses are a staple ingredient in many cuisines and are renowned for their nutritional value and versatility.
They have also taken centre stage within Australian agriculture over the past 20 years and are a mainstay of both summer and winter cropping rotations.
The adoption of pulses across medium rainfall areas has grown consistently since adapted varieties were released for faba beans (1980s) lentils (1990’s) and chickpeas (1990s).
At the same time other grain legume crops, including lupins, field peas and vetch, have been well adopted in the medium and low rainfall areas.
The impressive industry growth has been underpinned by significant research, development and extension investment by leading industry organisations like the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), enabling growers to capitalise on the agronomic and financial benefits of incorporating pulse crops within the farming system.
GRDC head of corporate affairs, Kylie Dunstan, said the growth of the pulse industry was a key pillar in the future productivity and profitability of the Australian grains industry.
“The strategic importance of pulses continues to grow in line with the opportunities and challenges in our cereal cropping systems,” Ms Dunstan said.
“Research and grower experience has identified many benefits of including pulses in rotations including improved yields in following cereal and canola crops.
“On an agronomic front, pulse crops provide significant nitrogen (N) inputs to cropping systems through biological N fixation and can help in reducing overall requirements for N fertiliser.
“At the same time, pulses have an important role to play in herbicide resistance management particularly in continuous cropping and no-till farming systems where there’s an on-going need for suitable rotational break crops.
“The GRDC is firmly committed to supporting and progressing the growth of the pulse industry in Australia and welcomes the international attention on these important, versatile and nutritious staples of our farming systems.”
- For more information on the 2018 Global Pulse Day, visit http://globalpulses.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/globalPulseDay_ENG.pdf or for more information on pulse research and development, visit the GRDC website www.grdc.com.au