Growing Pulses

Pulse crops can be planted under conventional, minimum till or zero till production systems with a wide range of seeding equipment including: double disc press drills, hoe drills, discers, row-crop planters, air drills and air seeders.

Lentils, peas, and chickpeas are cool season crops that can be seeded early. All are tolerant of light frosts (-4 to –6°C). Best yields and quality usually result from early seeding as soon as the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil reaches 5°C, providing the soil is not excessively wet.

Dry bean is a warm season crop and has no frost tolerance. Best yields of dry bean usually arise from seeding later than other pulse crops, when frost risk is low and the soil temperature at seeding depth has reached a minimum of 12°C.

Soybeans are a long-season crop and require a warm growing season with an extended fall to reach maturity.  To obtain best yields and high quality, seeding should take place in early spring, before June.  Soybeans can tolerate moisture better than most other crops.

Lentils, peas and chickpeas prefer dry soil and weather conditions, and are generally planted in brown soil zones, where water can drain quickly.  Dry beans and soybeans grow best in black soil zones, although dry beans will do better on land that drains quickly, as their moisture tolerance is not as high as soybeans.  Pulse crops are harvested low to the ground so land without stones is strongly preferred.

In Manitoba, pea, lentil and chickpea acres are grown in the western part of the province.  Dry bean acres are focused around south central Manitoba, namely Portage la Prairie, Carman, Morden, Winkler and Altona.  Manitoba soybeans were first produced in the Red River Valley, but in recent years production has expanded to areas north and east of Winnipeg, west to Brandon and north to Dauphin.

For more information on growing pulses in Manitoba visit the MAFRD production sites here: