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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Cool Season Grain Legume Genetic Enhancement and Pathology Title: Edible grain legumes

Authors
item Vandemark, George
item Brick, M -
item Osorno, J -
item Kelly, J -
item Urrea, C -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2014
Publication Date: January 11, 2014
Citation: Vandemark, G.J., Brick, M., Osorno, J., Kelly, J., Urrea, C. 2014. Edible grain legumes. In: Smith, S., Diers, B., Specht, J., and Carver, B., editors. Yield gains in major U.S. food crops. Madison, WI:CSSA Press. p. 87-123.

Interpretive Summary: Edible grain legumes including dry bean, dry pea, chickpeas, and lentils, have served as important sources of protein for human diets for thousands of years. Dry beans were widely cultivated in Mexico and the U.S. during pre-Columbian times and have been found at archeological sites in southwestern U.S. that are at least 2300 years old. Cool season food legumes including pea, lentil and chickpea were among the first crops to be domesticated during the advancement of Neolithic culture that occurred approximately 8000-12000 years ago in riparian societies along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. In the US, these crops are predominately produced for export markets. The objective of this study was to examine yield gains in these crops over the past 25 years. The results suggest that dry bean varieties have not reached the maximum possible yields and that desirable genes from distant relatives of dry bean should be used to improve disease resistance and grain yield. Over the past 25 years , the yields of dry pea in the US have decreased by 0.3% per year, lentil yields in the US have increased by only 0.1% per year, and chickpea yields have increased by approximately 2.8% per year. Several factors are likely responsible for the lack of appreciable gains in yield over time for these crops. Pea and lentil production has increased dramatically in MT and ND but the varieties grown in this region were originally developed in the US Pacific Northwest, and it is likely that they are not ideally adapted for MT and ND. There has also been a lack of new varieties for these crops, with many varieties being grown that are at least 20 years old. New lines of peas, lentils, and chickpeas have been identified that have yields that are superior to commercial varieties.

Technical Abstract: Edible grain legumes including dry bean, dry pea, chickpeas, and lentils, have served as important sources of protein for human diets for thousands of years. In the US, these crops are predominately produced for export markets. The objective of this study was to examine yield gains in these crops over the past 25 years. Genetic gain from selection in dry beans tested in common trials ranged between 13.9 to 17.4 kg ha-1 yr-1 (12.4 to 16.0 lb ac-1 yr-1) for navy and pinto beans, respectively. These results suggest that dry bean cultivars have not reached a yield plateau for most market classes. Continued introgression of germplasm from other races of common bean should provide new sources of germplasm to enhance yield. Over the past 25 years the production of cool season food legumes (peas, lentils, and chickpeas) in the US has increased dramatically. However, over this time the yields of dry pea in the US have decreased by 0.3% per year, lentil yields in the US have increased by only 0.1% per year, and chickpea yields have increased by approximately 2.8% per year. Several factors are likely responsible for the lack of appreciable gains in yield over time for these crops. Pea and lentil production has increased dramatically in MT and ND but the varieties grown in this region were originally developed in the US Pacific Northwest, and it is likely that they are not ideally adapted for MT and ND. There has also been a lack of new varieties for these crops, with many varieties being grown that are at least 20 years old. New lines of peas, lentils, and chickpeas have been identified that have yields that are superior to commercial varieties.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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