By Jan Suszkiw
February 9, 2015
2016 is the "International Year of Pulses," an initiative of the United Nations that aims to heighten consumer awareness of the nutritional and other benefits of pulse crops and to marshal the capabilities of agricultural research organizations worldwide to develop new, improved varieties. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has long been a proponent of pulse crops. One research program—the Dry Bean Project in Prosser, Washington—dates back to 1958 and currently serves growers and other industry members in more than 11 states.
ARS researchers from five ARS labs located across the United States and Puerto Rico—including Prosser—are also making global contributions through their participation in the Feed the Future (FtF) Grain Legumes Project, a food security initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Over the past five years, in partnership with USAID and through participation in the FtF Grain Legumes Project, ARS scientists have leveraged their considerable expertise to address some of the agricultural challenges faced by rural and small-holdings farmers in developing regions of the world where pulses, particularly dry beans, are staple food crops. Their latest contributions include:
ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.
Read more about ARS's pulse crop team in the February 2016 issue of AgResearch online.