Nutritional quality and pre-crop value of organically grown lentils
Growing and eating more legumes, e.g. beans, lentils and peas, will have large positive effects on agricultural sustainability. Legumes provide nutritious and health-promoting food as well as environmental benefits in cropping systems. Lentils are considered easy to cook, nutritious and tasty, and can be grown in Sweden even though nearly all lentils that are currently consumed in Sweden are imported from other countries. Organic production of lentils involves challenges with weed management and harvest techniques, since lentils are weak competitors against weeds and are prone to severe lodging at maturity due to weak stems. One strategy to manage these problems is to intercrop lintils with cereals.
This project will evaluate how the concentrations of protein, minerals and fiber in lentils are influenced by intercropping with oats. We will also investigate the effects of intercropping on the pre-crop value of lentils for a following cereal crop, which is an important aspect in order to optimize the value of lentils in organic cropping systems. The project is expected to provide knowledge that is needed in order to increase the Swedish production of lentils.