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Pulse Crops: Peas, Lentils & Chickpeas

Pulse Crops: Peas, Dry Beans, Lentils & Chickpeas

10 Reasons to love pulses
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Bin of Pulses

Montana's Pulse Power Play


Pulses are a leguminous crop that are harvested solely for the dry seed. Dried beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses. These little nutrition nuggets play a huge role in healthy diets in countries all over the world. They also are a powerful versatile crop the Montana farmers can use to promote biodiversity, improve soil health, and generate income from local and global markets.



  • Pulses are a source of plant based proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, fiber and essential nutrients like Iron, Potassium and Folate.
  • Pulses are low fat, cholesterol free, sodium free and gluten free.
  • When eaten regularly, pulses may help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.



  • Pulse crops utilize soil moisture efficiently. These crops require little (if any) nitrogen fertilizer; instead they fix nitrogen from the air into the soil.
  • Pulse crops help break disease and pest cycles in wheat and barley. When a wheat or barley crop follows a pulse crop it can experience substantial rotational benefits, improving yield and quality.
  • Pulse crops are versatile, drought-tolerant and frost-hardy, adding flexibility to cropping systems. If growing conditions turn dry, pulse crops can be harvested or grazed for forage or terminated to conserve soil moisture - the soil will still benefit from nitrogen fixation, rotation, and having a cover crop.



  • In Montana, farmers have incorporated pulse crops into their crop rotations to reduce the amount of land left fallow (idle).  Pulse crop acres have increased from 350,000 in 2009 to over 800,000 in 2015.
  • In 2011, Montana took the lead in U.S. pulse crop acreage. As of today, Montana retains its leadership position in pulse production, selling markets through the nation and in India, Japan, and many other countries around the world.
  • Potential exists for substantial growth of the pulse industry in Montana in the coming years. If additional acres of pulse crops were grown on 25% of Montana’s fallow cropland (approximately 900,000 acres) the annual benefit to Montana's economy could exceed $240 million. As the pulse industry grows, Montana communities will benefit from job creation and increased economic activity resulting from additional in-state processing.

Because Montana’s economy, farmers, and communities have so much to gain from expanded pulse production, the Montana Department of Agriculture seeks to help increase growers’ understanding of pulse crops, marketing opportunities, and profit potential. The department works to attract more buyers and processors and encourage the expansion of existing companies, with the goals of increasing delivery points and in-state processing so that Montana farmers benefit from a strong marketplace.


Put Montana Pulses On Your Plate, In Your Field, and In Your Pocketbook Today!


International Year of Pulses

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Check out the IYOP2016 website HERE and get involved!



Interested in buying pulse products from our Montana farmers? Click HERE to get connected with Pulse Farmers across the state of Montana.



Are you ready to incorporate pulses into your farm portfolio? Click HERE for information on how to make pulses part of your product diversification strategy.



Do pulses sound like a delicious way to improve your health? Click HERE to learn how to cook with pulses and make them part of your healthy lifestyle. Share your pulse pics, recipes, and more using these Pulse #Hastags: #lovepulses #IYP2016 #healthyeating #recipe #pulses #MTag


Montana Pulse Advisory Committee

The Montana Pulse Research & Market Development Program was created by a vote of Montana pea, lentil and chickpea producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act. Click HERE to learn more about the Montana Pulse Advisory Committee and what they do to address Montana's pulse industry needs and opportunities.




IYOP2016 logo



Share your pulse pics, recipes, and more using these Pulse #Hastags:

#lovepulses #IYP2016 #healthyeating #recipe #pulses #MTag



Click to view Montana's International Year of Pulses Video:

Montana Pulses YouTube Video

















Check out the latest stats on Pulses in the State of Montana:

Pulse graphic image








Treston Vermandel
Eastern Business Development Specialist
Agriculture Development & Marketing Bureau
Phone: (406)860-7480
E-mail: Tvermandel@mt.gov


Montana Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Development & Marketing Bureau
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2402
Fax: (406) 444-9442


Published: Mon Apr 23 11:59:00 MDT 2012.
Last Modified: Mon Aug 22 14:42:00 MDT 2016