PRODUCTION OF LEGUMES

The area of legume grain in the marketing year 2014/15 reached 275 thousand hectares. The national production was 220 thousand tons. The main grain producing region is Castilla La Mancha, followed by Castilla y León. With regard to Europe, the cultivation of legumes for human consumption has a great tradition because these crops make rotations with the cereals. As for the world, the most important production is that of beans with more than 23 million tons per year. The second crop in importance are the chickpeas (with about 13 million tons per year) and the third the lentils with approximately 5 million tons per year. Globally, the most cultivated species is Phaseolus vulgaris, commonly known as dry bean, whose varieties are given multiple names depending on the shapes, characteristics and colors they present or their origin. In 2014, a total of 7,700 hectares of beans were planted, an area 17% higher than that of the previous year. In addition, production amounted to 12,200 tonnes. By region, Castilla y León, mainly the province of León, is the one with the highest production, followed by Galicia. Between the two regions they sow more than 60% of the national total. The bean is demanding in water, although it thrives properly on fresh soils. It is also sensitive to cold, so sowing is spring in areas with frost risk, and has varieties of different morphology (dwarfs, enrame, etc.), and in some can also take advantage of the fruit – . In Spain you can find varieties such as kidney white, round white, plancheta, troncón, ganchet, pinet, pint, cinnamon, canellini, negreta, abode, Bean of the Boat, La Bañeza, etc. Pouda beans are those that have been collected without drying, while the La Granja (which is named after a production of La Granja de San Ildefonso in Segovia) is another species, as is the veneer (Vigna sinensis ) And Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). However it is not the beans but the chickpeas the most consumed vegetables in Spain. All varieties of chickpeas grown in our country belong to the species Cicer arietinum. The main ones are milky white, Castilian, Andalusian venous, annoying Madrid, Pedrosillano and Fuentesaúco (Zamora). For their part, lentils are also highly prized by Spanish consumers. All the varieties that are produced are of the species Lens esculenta and the best known are the blonde Castilian, the blonde of Armuña (Zamora), pardina and verdina. The chickpea and lentil are species that have a low size and are sown in autumn in temperate zones and in February in the coldest. The area planted with chickpeas in 2014 was 39,400 hectares (more than in 2013), and that of lentils of 31,100 hectares (less than a year earlier). For its part, the lentil harvest stood at 17,500 tons and chickpeas at 33,500 tons of chickpeas. In the cultivation of the chickpea stands out Andalusia, especially Seville, followed by Castile and Leon. In the production of lentil is Castilla La Mancha, stands out Cuenca, which monopolizes the crop with almost 80% of production. Other leguminous crops are protein crops (peas, beans, haboncillos and lupines). In 2014 the cultivated area increased, but the productions were smaller. More than half of this area was cultivated in Castilla y León and the harvests of Castilla-La Mancha were also important. Andalusia, Extremadura and Aragon. The consumption of protein crops in Spain is estimated at about 350,000 tonnes. The major consumption is focused on the pea both domestic and imported. Almost 100% of the dried peas sold in Spain are intended for animal feed, but a good part of the almortas and yeros produced in Spain are also used in small quantities for the preparation of cakes, porridge and Even breads. In the south of the country, especially in Andalusia and Extremadura, lupine is used as an appetizer, eliminating lupotoxin, a substance that gives it its characteristic bitterness. On the contrary, inferior quality legumes (as with very hard chickpeas) are passed on to animal feed.

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Montse Gonzalez