Thursday, March 04, 2021

The Scottish Pulse Potential

 Scotland could grow 15 times more peas, beans and lentils than it currently does.

Pulses are healthy and nutritious, and offer a substantial benefit to the environment through their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and thrive without artificial fertilisers.

James Hutton Institute researcher Dr Pete Iannetta has been evangelical about pulses for some time: “The irony is our feed and food systems are legume-dependent, yet we import most of our high-protein legume grains, and almost all are for animal and aquaculture feed. That means we forfeit the potential soil benefits from cultivation, and human-health benefits from direct consumption.

“By using pulses in cropping rotations we can improve soil and increase the range of crops grown, plus reduce disease and pest incidence, lowering pesticide dependency. Currently, only 1% of Scottish arable cropped land accommodates pulses – this could be fifteen times higher," he claimed. “If you want to protect environmental, human health, and have truly sustainable economics, then legumes are the vehicle..."

Soil Association Scotland's Ana Allamand, said: “This is an industry that could be developed with benefits for everyone. 

Meanwhile it is tatties galore. Almost half  of the Scottish potato crop was still in grower-held storage.

Pulse crops are a 'no-brainer' for Scotland | The Scottish Farmer

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