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Peterson Farms Seed offers peas to the region's producers

Peterson Farms Seed will begin offering pea varieties to producers in an effort to add an additional income stream.

Peterson Peas
While the region is not known for growing peas, Peterson Farms Seed is optimisitc the crop could thrive in certain areas and soil types. Photo taken August 16, 2022 in Maplewood, North Dakota.
Emily Beal / Agweek
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FARGO, N.D. — Peterson Farms Seed is used to offering its customers an array of corn and soybean varieties and hybrids. But they have a new crop up their sleeve: ultra high-protein peas.

Carl Peterson, president of Peterson Farms Seed, wanted to offer another income avenue for farmers. The plant shows promise of additional cash flow to those in the region, specifically those in the western part of North Dakota.

“This is one of Carl’s off-the-wall projects. This is a really grower focused project,” Kelsey Stumvoll, central and western North Dakota regional sales agronomist, said. “This is something we’re bringing forward to our growers this year.”

Peterson Farms Seed will be looking to sign contracts with producers for the ultra high-protein peas. Their ultimate goal is to add profit margins to their growers' operations through offering the crop. The premiums will be based on protein.

Producers will have to purchase the seed from Peterson Farms Seed, grow it and combine it. Peterson Farms Seed will then pick up the harvested peas from the farms in the winter to haul it to the processing plant. Possible processing plants will include one in Minot, North Dakota, or a processing plant right across the Canadian border. However, a processing plant has yet to be contracted and a contract will likely come to fruition this fall.

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“These things are super powered and a huge part of that is what processors are looking for nowadays. They’re looking for these limited run of acres of super high protein to help boost their production,” Stumvoll said.

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Kelsey Stromvoll, a western and central North Dakota regional sales agronomist for Peterson Farms Seed, believes peas will flourish in the territory she covers. Photo taken Aug. 16, 2022, in Maplewood, North Dakota.
Emily Beal / Agweek

The protein taken out at the processing plant will go directly into food or be sold to another company for another product.

“We’re talking about alternative milk products, alternative meat products. There is a huge market for that right now and that’s where a lot of this demand is coming from,” Stumvoll said.

Strumvoll said there had already been interest in the peas from producers in western North Dakota, South Dakota and south central Minnesota.

“The Red River Valley isn’t somewhere where we conventionally see peas, but I am from western North Dakota, so a lot of my area is going to be very interested in that. Where we’re looking at sandier ground, stuff that’s a little bit drier,” she said.

Strumvoll is hoping the welcoming of peas to the region will open the door to more lucrative crops for producers to plant in their acres, giving them additional profitable revenues.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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