Winter Lentils

Winter Lentil: Morton

$1.63 per lb.

Bulk Discount Pricing

2 - 9 lbs.
$1.47 / lb.
10 - 19 lbs.
$1.30 / lb.
20 - 29 lbs.
$1.14 / lb.
30 - 39 lbs.
$0.98 / lb.
40 - 49 lbs.
$0.81 / lb.
50+ lbs.
$0.65 / lb.

Lentil thrives in cool, dry conditions where they can remain relatively free of disease, hints why they are commonly grown in the northern great plains. Winter lentils have proven themselves to be more winter hardy than most winter peas cultivars. With a shallow rooting structure that doesn’t have the ability to reach subsoil moisture, low water use and supports mycorrhizal fungi, makes lentils an excellent cover in front of cereals or deep rooting crops. Though not recommended to be grown for production in higher rainfall environments, if excessive moisture is present during the growing season it will delay plant maturity. This will be excellent for producers who want to plant a summer fallow mixture where the mix can continue to grow under ideal conditions. Lentil are known for their ability to emerge through thick cereal stubble due to their strong seedling vigor. With rapid seed germination, seedlings generally out grow the threat of insects or disease pressure during establishment. Throughout its life cycle, lentil provides a higher quality forage. Mature lentil straw is much higher in CP, digestibility and palatability when compared to cereal straws.

Basic Info

Maturity
June-July
Seeds/lb
15,000
C/N Ratio
20:1
Growth Habit
Erect/Prostrate
Winter Hardiness
Zone 5B

Use

Lentils is most commonly grown in low rainfall, cool temperate climates during the spring but with these morton winter lentils, this crop can be utilized more frequently in northern growing regions of the US. Being a staple in many cultures around the world makes it a viable option for producers but seed that doesn't meet the human consumption market can be readily fed to livestock due to its high CP and low digestive inhibitors. Lentils provide producers an excellent crop choice to break up cereal crop rotations so they can break pest cycles. Mean while fixing N in the soil profile and obtaining a harvestable crop. Draw in the early season pollinators with lentil, since flowering occurs within just 60-70 days after planting. Expect to see nodulation within 3-4 weeks on the roots and you'll be well on your way towards producing an early season green manure crop.

Nitrogen Fixing Potential
10 / 75-125
N Scavenge
3
Dry Matter
3,000-5,000
Lasting Residue
2
Erosion Control
6
Traffic Bearing
8
Grazing Potential
8
Forage Harvest
7
Root Type
Shallow Tap Root
Soil Builder
7
Cash Crop Interseeding
7

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Advantages

Lentil thrives in cool, dry conditions where they can remain relatively free of disease, hints why they are commonly grown in the northern great plains. Winter lentils have proven themselves to be more winter hardy than most winter peas cultivars. With a shallow rooting structure that doesn't have the ability to reach subsoil moisture, low water use and supports mycorrhizal fungi, makes lentils an excellent cover in front of cereals or deep rooting crops. Though not recommended to be grown for production in higher rainfall environments, if excessive moisture is present during the growing season it will delay plant maturity. This will be excellent for producers who want to plant a summer fallow mixture where the mix can continue to grow under ideal conditions. Lentil are known for their ability to emerge through thick cereal stubble due to their strong seedling vigor. With rapid seed germination, seedlings generally out grow the threat of insects or disease pressure during establishment. Throughout its life cycle, lentil provides a higher quality forage. Mature lentil straw is much higher in CP, digestibility and palatability when compared to cereal straws.

Subsoiler
2
Surface Compaction
5
Rendering P & K
7
Traffic Bearing
8
Nematode Control
5
Disease Control
3
Allelopathic Effect
3
Weed Control
7
Short Growth Time
7

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Disadvantages

Lentils biggest potential flaw is that its a susceptible host for some plant diseases that also effect potato, brassica crops, sunflower, faba bean, field pea, field bean, soybean and sugar beet when to close in rotation. If utilizing in a mixture, naturally the risk of lentil causing a problem for the proceeding crop is reduced. Higher rainfall conditions aggravate disease presence. Grasshoppers are by far the biggest pest species, with minor pest issues from cutworm and aphids. Even with rapid emergence, lentils provide poor weed suppression in the fall due to limited growth and more erect vegetative growth. come spring time the sprawling biomass can be fairly effect at suppression spring annuals. Root structure is relatively limited, with the potential to only reach 6-18" into the profile. The very low C:N ratio common with lentil will not provide much lasting residue. For many producers this could be a disadvantage when trying to protect the soil profile from the summer heat. A serious concern for lentils is it's susceptibility to residual herbicides. So please be aware of what chemicals may be in your field if lentils is a large portion of your mixture and give us a call to weigh your risk potential.

Weed Potential
1
Potential Insect/Nematode Risk
5
Crop Disease Risk
7
Effect Cash Crop
7
Ease of Establishment
3
Ease of Till-Kill
7
Ease of Chem-Kill
10
Ease of Mow-Kill
7

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent

Planting

For best results the time to plant Morton lentil is from late august to mid-October depending on your location. This seeding time will allow the plants to produce sufficient fall growth to aid in winter survival. The seeds will germinate in the fall and produce relatively small plants going into the winter but if fall growth is to extensive an light fall graze will increase winter survival. Getting lentil established is very easy to accomplish due to strong seedling vigor with the ability to break through heavy residue. Though seedlings may have difficulty emerging from deeper seeding depths following heavy rains in clay soils. Planting depth is very flexible for this crop, so plant in the ideal range, seed mixture or soil condition requirements. An ideal lentil seeding rate utilizing weight can widely vary between cultivars, so just keep in mind that a monoculture goal would be 400,000 plants per acre. Narrow row spacings are preferred due to improved growth and aid with weed suppression. Seed hulls can be very easily damaged, so please be cautious if lentil makes up a large portion of your mix. If utilizing an air drill, minimize your air flow to a level that just keeps you from plugging but nothing more.

Ideal Planting Time
Late August- Mid October
Ideal Planting Depth
1 - 2"
Min Germination Temp(F)
40
Drilled Seeding Rate (lb./A)
20-25
Broadcast Seeding Rate (lb./A)
20-40
Reseeding Potential
Possible

Tolerance

Depending on winter conditions, fall growth is restricted by freezing temperatures. Winter hardiness can vary with winter severity but can be comparable or better than winter peas. Some winter injury and browning of the stems and leaves is common but in the spring plants will resume growth and produce a relatively dense canopy. Once dormancy has been broken lentil late frost tolerance can withstand temperatures dipping as low as 25F. Lentil is know for its ability to regrow from nodes protected under the soil profile for another round of growth if needed. Lentil can withstand a much larger pH and fertility range than most legume crops but it performs best between 6-8 pH in fertile well drained soils. Commonly lentil will be grown on more droughty or marginal crop ground due to its resilience and flexibility. You can grow them in sandy to heavy clay soils but the soil must have good internal drainage because flooded/waterlogged soils are detrimental to lentil roots. 6-10" of rainfall is required to grow this low water use species. Heat tolerance is a virtue for this cool season crop but lentil will preform best if temperatures remain below 80F. Lentil can be a very indeterminate crop unless severe stress is caused by drought, heat, frost, N deficiency, chemical desiccation or physical damage. If there's any salinity concerns in your soil, steer clear of lentil as it has no tolerance.

Heat
7
Drought
8
Shade
7
Wet Soil Tolerance
1
Low Fertility
7
pH
4.5-9.0

*Based on a 1-10 scale. 1 = Poor : 5 = Average : 10 = Excellent