Dr. Nonoy Bandillo is an assistant professor and pulse crops breeder who directs the pulse crops breeding program at North Dakota State University. He says their ultimate goal at the program is to develop and release varieties that maximize economic return to producers and to provide high quality crops to the pulse crops industry. In this episode we discuss key challenges in pulse crops that are being addressed through genetics, some of the varieties that his program has released in the past, and some exciting new lines that are in the pipeline.
“So the zero tannin lentil that we have in the pipeline, it doesn't have tannin or there's minimal tannin and it does not have any brownish color, which I would say, in my opinion, is not really a good characteristic of the seed of lentil.” - Dr. Nonoy Bandillo
Over the years of the NDSU breeding program, there have been several milestones, but perhaps most importantly, the release of four new cultivars. As these cultivars get released, it does take a while for them to be available commercially. ND Crown for example, was released in 2020, but there should finally be enough seed this year to be available for farmers.The program also has an additional eight lines in the pre-release phase of the pipeline. Disease resistance, yield, protein content and flavor remain high priorities for pulse crop breeding programs going forward. Nonoy and other plant breeders work extremely closely with plant pathologists to understand the mechanisms for disease resistance and to try to understand how to develop varieties accordingly.
“Our goal is to always collaborate with multiple breeders, not just within the US, but all around the world to get new sources of germ plasm or materials that we can use for the program… I feel like collaboration always starts with figuring out the important biological question that should be highly relevant to producers.” -Dr. Nonoy Bandillo
This Week on Growing Pulse Crops:
- Meet Dr. Nonoy Bandillo an assistant professor and pulse crops breeder who directs the pulse crops breeding program at North Dakota State University
- Explore the strategy, purpose and effect of the ongoing research towards new pulse crop cultivars
- Discover the vast collaborative efforts throughout the industry to produce better cultivars for both the market and producers