Public Release: 

Symposium promotes versatile, vital pulse crops

American Society of Agronomy

October 6, 2016--The United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. These crops--dry beans, peas, and lentils--are an important basis for human health, income stability, and soil health around the world.

The "Pulse Crops: Partners in Resilience" symposium at the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, will address this important topic. The symposium will be held Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from 1:30PM - 4:00PM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

International researchers will summarize advances in bringing these high-protein, resilient crops to wider markets. Pulses are often grown on marginal lands, but provide vital services to the environment. "Pulses fix atmospheric nitrogen, improve soil fertility, require less water, and emit less carbon dioxide," says Bir B. Singh, Texas A&M University. "They are good for the planet's health."

Additionally, pulses benefit humanity. "(Pulses and) legumes provide a triple win for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Legumes contribute to a diverse, high quality diet, bring much-needed income, particularly for women, and generate greater sustainability in production systems," says J. Vern Long, USAID Bureau for Food Safety.

The Crop Science Society of America has been celebrating IYP all year, and planned this symposium as part of their efforts. Their website has featured monthly research stories about pulses, and they have gathered information for teachers and the general public. Last month, they released two free, downloadable, educational videos about pulses, all of which can be found at http://www.crops.org/iyp.

For more information about the Resilience Emerging from Scarcity and Abundance 2016 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 26, 2016 is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/media for registration information. For information about the "Soils and Landscapes of the Southwestern United States" symposium, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2016am/webprogram/Session15446.html.

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.

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