Evaluation of Pulse Crops for Dryland Production

Final report for GW18-170

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2018: $25,000.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2020
Grant Recipient: University of Wyoming
Region: Western
State: Wyoming
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Carrie Eberle
University of Wyoming
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Project Information

Summary:

Problem: Dryland agriculture in the Northcentral Great Plains is limited by low precipitation, cool
temperatures, and poor soil fertility. Because of this, there are few cash crops that consistently perform
well in the region and most dryland producers rely on winter wheat for their major cash crop. When
market prices for winter wheat fluctuate producers have very few alternative crop options to rotate into. In
addition to single market dependence, the most widely used cropping rotation of winter wheat-fallow
reduces landscape diversity and degrades soil health, making it unsustainable.
Research Question: Are pulses a sustainable crop option for dryland producers in the Northcentral Great
Plains? Incorporating pulse crops into the current wheat-fallow rotation will offer new cash crop options
for farmers in the region while also providing much needed soil health benefits from having a legume in
the rotation. Crops of chickpea, lentil, guar, and dry peas will be evaluated for their agronomic production
potential and the sustainable value of these crops will be assessed by measuring soil fertility parameters as
well as soil moisture. The results of this work have the potential to not only diversify crop production but
also improve the health of the overall system.
Expected outcomes: As the result of this project we expect to be able to provide producers information
on:
1. Maximum yield expectation for each pulse crop and the potential profitability of each.
2. Soil nitrogen contribution of each pulse crop into current rotations.
3. Pulse crop water use and soil water recharge rate compared to fallow and how to maximize water
use efficiency for the cropping system.
4. Strategies to manage termination of pulse crops to maximize soil moisture and nitrogen
availability under variable environmental conditions.

Project Objectives:

1. Identify maximum yield expectation for lentil, chickpea, grain pea, and guar.
2. Measure soil nitrogen contribution of each pulse crop.
3. Measure crop water use and soil water recharge of each pulse crop compared to fallow.
4. Determine how timing of termination of pulse crops affects soil moisture and soil
nitrogen availability.

Research

Materials and methods:

This project was conducted at the University of Wyoming Sustainable Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle, WY (42.09° N, 104.38° W, 1272 ASL). The trial was started in the spring of 2018 and will be repeated in the spring of 2019. Five main crop treatments consisting of lentil, chickpea, grain pea, guar, and a fallow control were planted on three planting dates, (early, standard, late) all within a four-week period. Two varieties of each crop were grown, one conventional variety and one short season. Varieties planted were: lentil- Maxim & Richlea, chickpea- Orion & Frontier, grain pea- Carver & EarlyStar, guar- Monument & Kinman. In total, there were 25 unique treatments replicated three times. Plots were split into two subplots, with half of the plot being terminated at peak biomass and half the plot taken to grain to allow for comparison of each pulse crop as a seed crop or cover crop. 

General agronomic data was collected on all plots including stand establishment, date of first flower, date of first pod formation, date of last flower, biomass at first flower, peak biomass, nodule numbers, canopy development, plant height and total yield. The cool season crops of chickpeas, peas, and lentils were compared to each other for the project, leaving the guar crops out of the results. 

Identify maximum yield expectation for each pulse crop: 

Knowing yield outcomes for each pulse crop is essential to gauging the profitability of each crop. To identify the maximum yield expectation for each pulse crop, we did a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measurement to determine the rate of canopy establishment. A faster canopy establishment leads to a higher amount of sunlight being absorbed by the crop and less reaching to shorter plants, like weeds, that compete for resources. Less competition for resources leads to a higher potential yield for the crop. NDVI measurements were taken weekly using a RapidSCAN CS-45 handheld crop sensor. Planting at three different planting dates allows us to determine the optimal planting date to get the maximum yield. The cool season crops (lentil, chickpea, grain pea) were planted late March to early April. The warm season guar was planted late May to early April. At the end of the growing season, grain was harvested from each crop to determine yield that they produced. Grain was harvested with plot combine as well as hand samples of two one-meter rows. 

Measure soil nitrogen contribution of each pulse crop: 

In these low input wheat-fallow systems, any additional nitrogen for the crop following these pulse crops is a benefit. The nitrogen fixing ability of pulse crops creates a possibility for this additional nitrogen to be available. Because of this, it is important to determine the amount of nitrogen added to the soil by each pulse crop. In order to measure this, soil samples were taken before planting in the spring of 2018 before planting pulses and before planting wheat in the fall. Samples were taken at depths of 0-10, 10-30, and 30-60 cm. Soil was tested for nitrogen, nitrate, potentially mineralizable nitrogen, and organic matter. 

Measure crop water use and soil water recharge rate of each pulse crop compared to fallow: 

In a dryland system, water can be scarce which is why one of the main justifications for leaving fields fallow is to conserve water for the following crop. The ability of pulse crops to use water from a shallower depth than wheat allows for a quicker soil recharge rate and available water to remain in the deeper soil for wheat to use. To measure this soil moisture, three methods were used. Before planting pulses and after pulse harvest gravimetric water balance (GWB) cores were taken at depths of 0-10, 10-30, 30-60, and 60-90 cm. Before planting wheat, GWB cores were taken at depths of 0-10 and 10-30 cm. PR2 access tubes from Dynamax were installed to a depth of one meter. Soil moisture readings at depths of 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 100 cm were measured once a week from the time of emergence through harvest using a PR2 multi depth soil moisture probe. Watermark sensors from Irrometer were also installed in one complete rep at depths of 30 and 60 cm. These sensors were set to take readings every hour from emergence to harvest. These three methods helped to give us a complete picture of the soil moisture profile and crop water use which can be used to determine which rotation has a better soil water recharge rate for the winter wheat crop. 

Determine how timing of termination of pulses affects soil moisture and soil nitrogen availability: 

With frequent drought and variable rainfall in the high plains, management flexibility can be a great tool for producers to mitigate risk. By treating each pulse crop as a grain crop and a cover crop we will be able to learn how the different management decisions affect soil moisture and nitrogen. To determine this, we split each plot in two with half being taken to grain and half terminated as a cover crop at peak flower. Soil moisture measurements were taken at the time of termination to see how much water can be saved through cover cropping.  

 

Research results and discussion:

Yield:

Seed yield (kg ha-1) was compared within each crop. Year was the only significant effect on yield for all crops (Table 1). There were no significant effects from variety, planting, date, seeding rate or any interactions. Chickpea yielded 1669.0 kg ha-1 in 2018 and 1197.7 kg ha-1 in 2019 (Table 2). Dry pea yielded 1867.8 kg ha-1 in 2018 and 1343.7 kg ha-1 in 2019. Lentil yielded 364.9 kg ha-1 in 2018 and 1285.8 kg ha-1 in 2019. 2018 yields were significantly higher in chickpea and dry pea and significantly lower in lentil (Table 2).

Table 1: Within Crop Yield (kg ha-1) Significant Effects

 

Chickpea

Dry Pea

Lentil

Year

0.0596

0.0005

<.0001

Variety

0.1440

0.6221

0.5451

Planting Date

0.4045

0.5370

0.8740

Seeding Rate

0.3032

0.4459

0.8053

Table 1: Results of a general linear model for the determination of significant effects of year, variety, and planting date within each crop type on yield (kg ha-1). All interactions were analyzed, and no interactions were significant.

 

Table 2: 2018 & 2019 Yield (kg ha-1) Means

Year

Chickpea

Dry Pea

Lentil

2018

1669.0

b

1867.8

b

364.9

a

2019

1197.7

a

1343.7

a

1285.8

b

Table 2: Effect of year on each crop yield (kg/ha). Means within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different from each other at the 5% probability level.

Wheat Available Water:

            Available water at wheat planting gives an idea of the impact of the fallow replacement crop on the following wheat crop. Significant effects were seen from depth, crop, treatment (cover crop, grain, fallow), year by crop, year by treatment, crop by treatment, crop by depth, and treatment by depth (Table 3).

 

Chickpea Wheat Available Water

            Within chickpea, soil depth, year, planting date, and treatment had significant effect on stored soil moisture (Table 4). The interaction between depth and treatment was also significant with cover crop generally having more water than grain except at the 0-10 cm depth in 2019 (Table 5). When looking at all depths, 2019 had a higher amount of water available at all depths (0-10 cm: 223.6 mm, 10-30 cm: 410.6 mm, 30-60 cm: 681.9 mm, 60-90 cm: 719.9 mm) than 2018 (0-10 cm: 120.5 mm, 10-30 cm: 291.3 mm, 30-60 cm: 468.7 mm, 60-90 cm: 647.7 mm). Available water increased in deeper depths. For planting dates, mid planting dates averaged less available water (428.4 mm) than early (457.5 mm) or late (457.6 mm) but were not significantly different than each in all years or treatments.

Dry Pea Wheat Available Water

            Depth, year, treatment, and depth by treatment were significant effects in dry peas (Table 4).  Fallow had the highest average water available compared to both cover crop and grain at 0-10 and 10-30cm depths but was only significantly more than both in 2019 at the 0-10 cm depth. Fallow had the lowest available water in the 30-60 and 60-90 cm depths but was only significantly lower than cover crop in 2019 at 60-90 cm (Table 5). In depths, the 0-10 cm depth averaged the least amount of water (146.1 mm) followed by the 10-30 depth with 299.4 mm (Table 5). 30-60 cm depths averaged 673.8 mm while 60-90 cm available water was lower with 601.6 mm. In 2018, the available average water was higher (440.0 mm) than 2019 (425.3 mm).

 

Lentil Wheat Available Water

            In lentil, depth, depth by year, and year by treatment had significant effects (Table 4). Average available water increased at deeper depths (Table 5). In 2018, the fallow treatment had the highest available water compared to cover crop and grain while only being significantly higher than both in 2018 at depths of 10-30 and 60-90 cm. In 2019, fallow wheat available water was significantly lower than both grain and cover crop at the depth of 60-90 cm.  In the year by depth interaction, available water was higher in 2019 down to 30 cm when compared to 2018 but lower than 2018 from 30-90 cm. 

Table 3. Wheat Available Soil Water (mm) Significant Effects

Depth

<.0001

Year

0.3196

Crop

0.0329

Planting Date

0.1192

Treatment

<.0001

Year*Crop

<.0001

Year*Treat.

0.0092

Crop*Treat

0.0020

Crop*Depth

0.0008

Treat.*Depth

<.0001

Table 3: Results of a general linear model for the determination of significant effects of depth, year, crop, planting date, and treatment type (cover crop or grain crop) on wheat available water (mm). Seeding rate was not analyzed due to lack of significant difference at pulse harvest, so only seeding rate 1 was sampled. All interactions were analyzed, and the significant interactions listed.

 

Table 4. Wheat Available Soil Water Significant Effects

 

Chickpea

Dry Pea

Lentil

Depth

<.0001

<.0001

<.0001

Year

<.0001

0.0178

0.1309

Planting Date

0.0052

0.6024

0.2588

Treatment

<.0001

0.0038

0.6465

Depth*Year

0.7863

0.0776

0.0208

Depth*Treatment

0.0001

0.0251

0.4188

Year*Treatment

0.2527

0.3054

<.0001

Table 4: Results of a general linear model for the determination of significant effects of depth, year, crop, planting date, and treatment type (cover crop or grain crop) on wheat available soil water (mm). Seeding rate and variety were not analyzed due to lack of significant difference at pulse harvest, so only seeding rate 1 and the standard variety (Frontier, Carver, Maxim) were sampled. All interactions were analyzed, and the significant interactions are listed.

 

Table 5. Soil Water Available at Wheat Planting (mm) Means

 

0-10 cm

10-30 cm

30-60 cm

60-90 cm

 

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

Crop-Sig. Variable(s)

Chickpea

Cover Crop-Early

121.37

bc

186.03

abc

307.38

b

439.04

ab

474.38

bc

752.31

 

676.44

ab

922.98

cd

Cover Crop-Mid

137.89

c

184.70

abc

301.14

ab

440.80

ab

512.36

cd

755.41

 

889.18

b

1008.36

d

Cover Crop-Late

133.07

c

181.20

ab

320.55

b

417.41

ab

533.28

cd

756.14

 

729.60

b

1046.15

d

Grain-Early

106.69

ab

232.09

bcd

263.49

a

434.23

ab

402.75

ab

597.76

 

507.39

a

896.28

bc

Grain-Mid

104.10

ab

291.80

d

258.27

a

322.69

a

387.68

a

807.81

 

498.64

a

854.05

bc

Grain-Late

93.76

a

230.53

abcd

261.93

a

492.24

b

404.98

ab

597.76

 

465.35

a

656.23

bc

Fallow

147.00

d

257.17

cd

326.23

b

327.87

ab

565.62

d

505.80

 

767.38

b

555.39

a

 

Dry Pea

Cover Crop

N/A

 

179.24

b

N/A

 

291.78

a

N/A

 

695.94

 

N/A

 

793.55

b

Grain

126.42

 

132.54

a

319.16

 

287.19

a

755.26

 

570.07

 

559.02

 

452.08

a

Fallow

132.51

 

187.59

b

327.61

 

438.19

b

675.44

 

468.55

 

800.38

 

419.38

a

 

Lentil

Cover Crop

134.81

ab

214.89

b

316.30

a

390.25

ab

612.67

ab

477.41

a

760.35

b

618.75

b

Grain

184.45

b

156.42

a

283.77

a

313.27

a

470.68

a

704.84

b

577.16

a

734.93

b

Fallow

118.80

a

173.79

ab

367.62

b

467.86

b

746.92

b

483.04

ab

941.35

c

323.22

a

Table 5: Results of a least significant difference analysis to separate the means of wheat available water (mm) due to significant effects on wheat available soil water in 2018 and 2019 within each crop. Treatment (cover crop or grain crop) was a significant effect for all crops and planting date was also significant in chickpea (Table 25). There was no cover crop treatment in dry pea in 2018 due to rapid maturity of the crop. Means within a column within a crop type followed by the same letter are not significantly different from each other at the 5% probability level.

Soil Nitrate Change: 

Soil nitrate nitrogen change during the growing season was analyzed to determine the effect of year, crop, planting date, soil depth, and seeding rate on the amount of nitrate used compared to fallow. Soil nitrate was significantly affected by depth, year, crop and the interactions of depth by year, depth by crop, year by crop, and depth by year by crop (Table 6). The data was analyzed by crop type to determine significant effects within each (Table 7).

Chickpea

            Depth, planting date, and treatment type (cover crop or grain crop) significantly affected nitrate change in chickpeas (Table 7). Interactions of depth by year, depth by planting date, and depth by treatment were also significant. For depth, nitrate change levels decreased with deeper depths (Table 8). Early planting dates had a higher average nitrate gain of 2.34 mg kg soil-1 than mid (0.94 mg kg soil-1) or late (1.32 mg kg soil-1). Cover crop treatments averaged the highest nitrate mg kg soil-1 addition with 4.06 mg kg soil-1 added on average followed by fallow with 2.56 mg kg soil-1 added and grain with an average loss of 0.99 mg kg soil-1.

            Within the interaction of depth by year, the depth of 0-10 cm was highest in nitrate mg kg soil-1 gained in 2018 and 2019 followed by 10-30 cm and 30-60 was the lowest change in both 2018 and 2019 but the loss of 2.79 mg kg soil-1 in 2019 was much more than the loss of 0.58 mg kg soil-1 in 2018. When looking at the interaction of depth by planting date, mid planting dates had the lowest gain of nitrates in 10-30 and 30-60 cm depths but averaged in the middle in 0-10 cm. Early planting dates were the highest nitrate change in depths from 0-30 cm but were second from 30-60 cm. The late planting date varied in its placement for each depth by being the lowest change in 0-10 cm, second highest from 10-30 cm, and highest from 30-60 cm. Depth by treatment effects were seen in the 0-10 cm depth with cover crop having an especially high nitrate gain of 12.89 mg kg soil-1 compared to grain at 1.22 mg kg soil-1 gained. At other depths, this difference was not as large between the treatments.

Dry Pea

            Within dry pea, depth, year, planting date, and treatment were significant effects (Table 7). Interactions of depth by year and depth by treatment were also significant. Nitrate changes decreased as depths became deeper (Table 8). 2018 averaged less of a loss of nitrate (-0.10 mg kg soil-1) than 2019 (-0.180 mg kg soil-1). Early planting dates averaged a lower loss of nitrate (-0.50 mg kg soil-1) than mid (-1.12 mg kg soil-1) or late (-2.08). The cover crop treatment had a lower average nitrate loss (-0.82 mg kg soil-1) than grain (-1.44 mg kg soil-1).

            In the depth by year interaction, the depths followed the trend of lower nitrate change at deeper depths with an unusually high gain of 2.44 mg kg soil-1 in the 0-10 cm depth in 2018 compared to the loss of 0.53 mg kg soil-1 in 2019 at the same depth. Also, there was an especially high loss of 3.46 mg kg soil-1 at the depth of 30-60 cm in 2018 compared to a loss of 1.47 mg kg soil-1 in 2018 at the same depth. Within the depth by treatment interaction, cover crop nitrate change was highest at depths from 0-30 cm but slightly lower (-2.97 mg kg soil-1) than grain (-2.71 mg kg soil-1) at 30-60 cm.

Lentil

            Depth and treatment were significant effects in lentils (Table 7). Interactions of depth by year, depth by treatment, and year by treatment were significant as well. Nitrate changes decreased as depths became deeper (Table 8). Cover crop increased nitrate by an average of 3.0 mg kg soil-1 while grain decreased nitrate levels by an average of 1.92 mg kg soil-1.

            In the depth by year interaction, depths followed the trend of decreasing nitrate levels at deeper depths but in 2018, the 0-10 cm depth saw an increase of 2.44 mg kg soil-1 nitrate while in 2019, a decrease of 0.53 mg kg soil-1 was seen. In the 30-60 cm depth, the loss of 3.46 mg kg soil-1 nitrate in 2019 was a larger decrease than the loss of 1.47 mg kg soil-1 in 2018 at the same depth. In the depth by treatment interaction, the cover crop treatment had a gain of nitrate mg kg soil-1 from 0-30 cm but a loss in the 30-60 depth. The gain of mg kg soil-1 in cover crop in the 0-10 cm depth (9.92 mg kg soil-1) was much higher than the gain in grain at the same depth (0.09 mg kg soil-1). When looking at the year by treatment interaction, gains in the 2019 cover crop (4.01 mg kg soil-1) are double the 2018 amounts (2.00 mg kg soil-1). The opposite is seen in the grain treatment with much higher losses of 3.19 mg kg soil-1 in 2019 compared to a loss of 0.65 mg kg soil-1 in 2018. 

Table 6. Nitrate Change (mg kg soil-1) Significant Effects

Depth

<0.0001

Year

0.0003

Crop

<0.0001

Planting Date

0.0003

Seeding Rate

0.4121

Depth*Year

0.0017

Depth*Crop

<0.0001

Year*Treatment

<0.0001

Crop*Treatment

<0.0001

Depth*Year*Crop

0.0010

Table 6: Results of a general linear model for the determination of significant effects of depth, year, crop, planting date, seeding rate, and treatment on nitrate change (mg kg soil-1). All interactions were analyzed, and the significant interactions are listed. 

Table 7. Within Crop Nitrate Change (mg kg soil-1) Significant Effects

 

Chickpea

Dry Pea

Lentil

Depth

<0.0001

<0.0001

<0.0001

Year

0.9818

<0.0001

0.4780

Variety

0.1185

0.1289

0.7732

Planting Date (PD)

0.0214

0.0002

0.1218

Seeding Rate (SR)

0.7400

0.2008

0.8788

Treatment

<0.0001

<0.0001

<0.0001

Depth*Year

0.0300

0.0003

0.0022

Depth*PD

0.0475

0.7363

0.0700

Depth*Treatment

<0.0001

0.0302

<0.0001

Year*Treatment

0.0648

0.2955

<0.0001

Table 7: Results of a general linear model for the determination of significant effects of depth, year, variety, planting date, seeding rate, and treatment on nitrate change (mg kg soil-1). All interactions were analyzed, and the significant interactions are listed.

Table 8. Average Nitrate Change (mg kg soil-1)

 

0-10 cm

10-30 cm

30-60 cm

 

 

2018

2019

2018

2019

2018

2019

 

Chickpea

Early Cover Crop

12.17

c

14.83

c

0.50

c

1.67

c

0.83

c

-2.00

bc

 

Mid Cover Crop

11.17

c

16.29

c

0.17

c

-0.57

b

-1.00

abc

-4.14

ab

 

Late Cover Crop

10.17

c

12.71

bc

0.67

c

0.57

bc

0.17

bc

-1.14

c

 

Early Grain

4.33

b

2.50

a

-1.67

ab

-0.67

b

-0.92

b

-3.50

abc

 

Mid Grain

1.25

ab

0.14

a

-1.67

ab

-2.43

a

-2.50

a

-5.43

a

 

Late Grain

0.08

a

-1.00

a

-1.92

a

-0.86

ab

-1.67

a

-2.00

bc

 

Fallow

11.00

c

3.33

ab

0.67

bc

0.67

bc

1.00

bc

-1.33

bc

 

Dry Pea

Early Cover Crop

N/A

 

3.08

c

N/A

 

-0.08

cd

N/A

 

-2.58

 

 

Mid Cover Crop

N/A

 

1.08

bc

N/A

 

-0.25

cd

N/A

 

-2.67

 

 

Late Cover Crop

N/A

 

-0.75

ab

N/A

 

-1.58

abc

N/A

 

-3.67

 

 

Early Grain

2.92

a

-1.08

ab

-0.58

 

-1.75

abc

-0.92

 

-3.50

 

 

Mid Grain

2.58

a

-2.25

a

-1.08

 

-2.17

ab

-1.67

 

-3.67

 

 

Late Grain

1.83

a

-3.25

a

-2.17

 

-2.67

a

-1.83

 

-4.67

 

 

Fallow

9.00

b

0.33

abc

0.33

 

1.67

d

3.67

 

-1.67

 

 

Lentil

Early Cover Crop

9.17

c

13.33

cd

-0.33

cd

1.75

b

0.17

b

-2.75

bc

 

Mid Cover Crop

7.00

bc

15.83

cd

-1.83

abc

1.83

b

-0.17

ab

-2.42

c

 

Late Cover Crop

5.33

abc

8.83

bc

-1.00

abcd

2.08

b

-0.33

ab

-2.42

c

 

Early Grain

6.38

bc

-2.17

a

-1.00

bcd

-3.25

a

0.13

b

-5.42

a

 

Mid Grain

1.25

ab

-1.83

a

-3.25

ab

-2.25

a

-2.38

a

-4.75

abc

 

Late Grain

-1.00

a

-2.08

a

-3.25

a

-1.83

a

-2.75

a

-5.08

ab

 

Fallow

11.00

c

3.00

ab

1.00

d

0.00

a

-0.33

ab

-2.00

bc

 

Table 8: Results of a least significant difference analysis to separate the means of significant factors on nitrate change (mg kg soil-1) within crop type. All interactions were analyzed, and the significant interactions are listed.

Conclusion: 

The variability in precipitation between years complicated the ability to clearly see repeated differences between treatments. With this, some important effects were seen that lead to the interest in further investigation of pulse crop introduction into the winter wheat-fallow rotation in southeastern Wyoming. For example, the lack of water depletion by dry peas for the following wheat crop indicates that it is possible to introduce another cash crop option into the rotation without harming winter wheat yields. This, coupled with the N gains from the dry pea crop lead to this being the most promising crop looked at in this study. The addition of nitrogen to the system by the legume crops is very important because of the benefit of additional nitrogen in the low input cropping systems in the area.

            Even with water depletion for the following wheat crop seen in chickpeas and lentils, the addition of a new cash crop option has the potential to outweigh possible yield reductions in the winter wheat. The moisture levels in cover crop treatments is encouraging as a potential way to add flexibility in the rotation in dry years as a way to conserve water for the main winter wheat crop. Additional flexibility was seen in the lack of significant effects of different varieties, planting dates, and seeding rates as management practices across most measurements. This indicates that slightly different management practices may result in the same yields and soil attributes. This is important for ensuring the winter wheat growing season is maintained to reach maximum yield for the crop.

Participation Summary
5 Farmers participating in research

Educational & Outreach Activities

4 Consultations
3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Published press articles, newsletters
2 Webinars / talks / presentations
1 Workshop field days
2 Other educational activities: Radio talk, farmers market

Participation Summary:

530 Farmers
120 Ag professionals participated
Education/outreach description:

Of the 4 consultations done, 3 were producers looking for information on how to look for nodules, the 4th was information about chickpea nodulation for a science fair project. 2 articles were published. One was an article about guar published in the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. Another article about introducing pulse crops into the wheat fallow system was published in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. 2 poster presentations were given, one at the SAREC field day and the other at the Western Society of Crop Science annual meeting. There was also a radio talk given about guar and chickpeas were talked about at the local farmers market.

The number of farmers/ranchers who participated was estimated to be 520 with 20 of those being direct from the farmers market, consultations, and SAREC field day and 500 indirect through the radio and newspaper. The number of agricultural professionals who participated was estimated to be 120 with 20 being direct through farmers market and the Western Society of Crop Science meeting and 100 indirect through the radio and newspaper. 

A pulse crop field day was held at a producers farm in southeastern Wyoming in the summer of 2019 with approximately 10 producers in attendance. Topics covered included how to grow pulses, pulse markets, and common difficulties in pulse production. 

Project Outcomes

2 Grants received that built upon this project
Did this project contribute to a larger project?:
No
Knowledge Gained:

Through this project, knowledge about the potential for pulses to be produced in dryland farming was increased. This has the potential to introduce a variety of crops to rotate with wheat to diversify production in the area. Diversification is especially important for sustainable agriculture to reduce reliance on a single crop. Reliance on a single crop has created problems in the past and through this project we have gained knowledge that other crops have the possibility of being successfully grown in the southeastern Wyoming area. 

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.