Exploring Winter Lentil and Winter Pea Production in the Northeastern United States

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $24,236.00
Projected End Date: 07/31/2024
Grant Recipient: Cornell University
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Dr. Virginia Moore
Cornell University


  • Agronomic: peas (field, cowpeas)
  • Vegetables: lentils


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: crop rotation, varieties and cultivars
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Increased production of winter lentil and winter pea in the Northeastern United States have the potential to increase farmer profitability, improve adaptive management strategies in response to climate change, and increase sustainability of cropping systems.  Early trials show that these crops can be successfully and profitably grown in the region, and farmer interest in this research is high.  However, no regionally appropriate information is available on cultivar choice or agronomic practices such as seeding rate.  Preliminary variety trials and seeding rate trials will open the door to increased production of winter lentil and winter pea in the Northeast, as well as inform future efforts to breed winter pulse varieties adapted to the Northeast.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Optimize production systems for winter pea and lentil production systems in the Northeast, evaluate suitability of currently available germplasm, and assess profitability of winter pulses as a farm enterprise.  This work will also inform future efforts to develop regionally adapted cultivars. 


    Objective 1:

    Compare performance of available winter pea and winter lentil cultivars and/or breeding lines. Material will be sourced from the USDA-ARS, other public breeding programs and commercial seed companies.


    Outcome 1: Identify regionally adapted cultivars and breeding lines to inform farmer decision-making and future regional breeding efforts. Increase adoption of these new crops in a profitable crop rotation.


    Objective 2:

    Test seeding rates of winter lentil in monoculture.


    Outcome 2: Identify optimal seeding rate of winter lentil in the Northeast. Create and disseminate optimized agronomic recommendations for farmers to grow winter lentil.


    Objective 3:

    Compare yields of Northeast-grown winter lentil and pea to Western production. Assess profitability, accounting for available market premiums and transportation costs and compare to other Northeast pulse crops (soybean, dry bean) as well as Western grown pea and lentil.


    Outcome #3: Determine profitability of winter lentil and pea production in the Northeast. Share information with farmers to better inform decision making around crop adoption.

    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.