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USA - LaFrenz Seed Solutions helps farmers with seed decisionsqrcode

Jan. 2, 2024

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Jan. 2, 2024

By Sue Roesler

Field peas are a large part of LaFrenz Seed Solutions’ business in Langdon, N.D. While owner Austin LaFrenz sells certified barley, durum, and other certified seed, four crops comprise the main part of his business.

″We’re in the certified seed business, selling wheat seed, canola seed, soybean seed and yellow field pea seed. Field peas are a big part of our business,″ LaFrenz said.

His brother, Adam, is a business partner in the seed business that Austin operates, and Austin is a business partner in the family’s furniture store in Langdon that Adam operates.

At LaFrenz Seed Solutions, there are two seed cleaning plants, a main building that is the wheat facility, and recently, LaFrenz acquired a custom-built pea cleaner.

″We have a new pea cleaner, which is set up on a fifth wheel trailer. It’s portable, but it just stays around the yard. With the cleaner, the peas are being handled less, which is important when we are handling seed peas because they’re a fragile crop,″ he said. ″They could split, and there would be a loss of germination if the peas are not handled gently.″

Austin cleans seed for other farmers, as well as for his own certified seed that is sold retail. They also offer seed treatment and inoculation.

LaFrenz said they entered the field pea market in 2020 because there weren’t many seed dealers in the region that had a good selection of certified field peas to choose from.

″There’s not a lot in the game as far as seed dealers for peas, so we honed in on that market and we do it well. The biggest market around here for peas is the pet food industry. It is a good, strong market,″ he said.

LaFrenz has contracted with growers that increase the production seed for them. They choose varieties carefully to fit farms both inside and outside the region.

″We comb through the variety trials and we don’t have anything that we wouldn’t want to grow on somebody’s farm. We pick the best products for our area and other areas, as well,″ LaFrenz said.

All of the yellow pea varieties LaFrenz offers are processor-preferred, and he works closely with the processors to find what they are looking for.

Field peas are also known as an excellent rotational crop that fixes nitrogen.

″The only drawback with field peas is you want to spread your rotation out with peas on a four-year rotation,″ LaFrenz said.

When farmers are getting a start with field pea production, LaFrenz works with them to help with strategizing how peas can work within their operations.

″I talk with my growers to understand their farming operation, how many acres they currently farm, and whether they want to continue with peas in their rotation. Together, we’ll figure out how many acres they could be putting in every year, and that way, they can keep peas in the rotation,″ he said.

One of the new certified yellow field peas that LaFrenz has on tap for farmers to grow in 2024 is Protin, which is a drought-tolerant pea that originated in central Europe.

Bob Amstrup, sales manager for Photosyntech, LLC, said they provided the new yellow field pea variety to Lafrenz in 2023, and LaFrenz named it Protin.

″(Protin) has a unique combination of high yield and high protein. The two-year average yield at the NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center’s variety trials ranks Protin at number one,″ Amstrup said. ″Our calculations show that Protin would provide growers with the highest gross income using the two-year average of yield and protein.″

LaFrenz said they had enough Protin registered seed to grow two quarters of it to provide certified seed for 2024, and NDSU Foundation Seedstocks grew 20 acres of Protin foundation seed,″ LaFrenz said.

LaFrenz will be planting the foundation seed as registered seed next year, and then as certified seed for 2025.

In August, LaFrenz noted on the business’ Facebook page that, ″We are currently cleaning our latest and brand-new yellow field pea called Protin (PSTSP50) by Photosyntech, exclusively sold at Lafrenz Seed Solutions.″

At LaFrenz Seed Solutions, LaFrenz also sells a lot of another variety of yellow field pea named Spider, which is widely-adapted, high-yielding field pea with excellent standability and powdery mildew resistance.

In addition, another popular pea that LaFrenz sells is AAC Chrome, which is also high-yielding with powdery mildew resistance.

There are a few northeastern counties that usually have excellent field pea production, especially with the cooler weather those farm locations tend to have during the summer.

″There are some really good areas for pea production in our area from Langdon through Cavalier County and parts of Pembina County. The soil types here are more in line with what the peas need, and we also have a little bit of a cooler climate in this area, which is great for production,″ he said. ″In a typical year, we’ve seen averages from around 50 bushels per acre all the way up to 80 bushels per acre on field peas.″

LaFrenz Seed Solutions sells statewide, and also markets field peas to Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and some parts of Minnesota.

Continue reading at AgUpdate.

Source: AgUpdate


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