The Roundup -

The New Pulse Crop Facility Makes Gains & Increases Capacity


These on-site storage bins can hold 40,000 bushels of pulse crops. Photo submitted by Kathy McLane, Community Resource Specialist with Mid-Rivers.

Glendive, MT is home to a new pulse crop receiving and transportation facility, established by ITC International Inc. Based out of Canada, ITC International Inc. provides a diverse range of pulse crop products to 20 – 25 markets, and partnered with the Montana Department of Agriculture and Mid-Rivers' Community Resource Specialist Kathy McLane, to establish the pulse crop facility which opened August 8, 2016. Additionally, they worked closely with MSU Extension, BNSF Railway, and local producers and businesses.

ITC International Inc. looked at many different areas in the state, and ultimately felt that Glendive was in a good proximity to pulse crop growing areas in eastern Montana. John Piracha, ITC International Inc.'s president commented that the company felt that there was a good scope for further improvement and development of pulse crops.

Montana has been the leading pulse crop producer in the US since 2011. In 2016 peas and lentils were grown on more than 1 million acres in the state with a 216,000 acre increase in the last year. Many farmers are choosing pulse crops due to the low wheat prices and many soil benefits that come with growing pulse crops.

The facility is designed to meet pulse crop's specific handling needs and area producers will no longer have to travel so far to deliver them. On-site storage bins can currently hold 40,000 bushels, with the goal being to have 100,000 tons of specialty crops per year going through the receiving facility.

ITC has contracted with local producers to grow specialty crops, and plans to add to that in the future. Piracha has been working with the USDA Research Center in Sidney, MT to find niche crops that would do well in the area, considering eastern Montana has a longer and warmer growing season.

"Once we identify those specialty crops, we would like to contract with Montanan and North Dakotan growers in the future," said Piracha. "As we progress we are considering what the community, county, and surrounding counties need, focusing on increasing our capacity to include processing, and how to increase pulse crop production in the area. We are constantly upgrading."

In the few weeks that the facility has been open, employees are keeping busy and have seen crops come in from as far as Plentywood, MT.

"We've gotten a good response from the community and we would like to thank everyone in Dawson County and the surrounding counties for their involvement," Piracha said. "As we go forward, we want to reach out to even more people."


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