Lentil demand could support more acres

A spokesman for the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council says lentil acres in the U.S. have a lot of room for growth.

Vice President of Marketing Pete Klaiber tells Brownfield even though lentil acreage has doubled twice in the last decade, a growing global middle class and increasing domestic demand continues to support the market.  “We have seen a major surge in domestic pulse usage and exports continue to be strong as well, so despite the fact we doubled our production this year, we’re seeing it absorbed. The pace of absorption has picked up just as much.”

He says lentils are grown in the northern tier of the US from eastern Washington across to western North Dakota and production issues in India the past two years led to record prices.  “Essentially we have finished our marketing year with our bins almost empty as exports to India have surged over that time.”

Klaiber says eventually the market will cool off but he doesn’t believe this is the year for it to happen. He says major wheat growing regions of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and South Dakota have the potential to add more acres.

AUDIO: Interview with Pete Klaiber 

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