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Cool Season & Food Legume Programs - Western Reigonal
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New varieties of cool season food legumes are needed by the expanding industry in the northern plains region as well as the Pacific Northwest. Candidate varieties are being developed by the USDA-ARS Grain Legume Genetics program located at Washington State University; however, the germplasm being generated needs to be evaluated in all production regions. Specifically, new varieties are needed that are better adapted to the northern plains and with improved disease resistance, yields and quality. We propose to conduct Western Regional Evaluation Trials of potential new varieties of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas in the major production zones of the northern plains and the Pacific Northwest. These trials will compare currently available varieties to the most recent material from the USDA-ARS breeding program in uniform replicated trials. Winter hardy pea and lentil selections with high yield potential will also be evaluated. In addition to evaluation of advanced breeding lines at locations throughout the northern plains and the Pacific Northwest, we will establish nurseries for evaluation of early-generation segregating breeding populations of chickpea and  spring and winter pea and lentil in North Dakota and use those nurseries to make selections for resistance to prevalent diseases, agronomic adaptation and suitable plant types. Screening winter pea and lentil breeding populations in North Dakota will provide an opportunity to identify selections with increased winter hardiness. The goal of this proposal is to provide producers throughout the U.S. with higher yielding disease resistant varieties that will increase overall farm productivity and profitability while expanding the use of grain legumes in crop rotations. Data and information generated will be made available through websites, meetings, conferences and in printed documents.