b'Lupin LeapsFORWARDWell-established in Europe and Australia, this protein powerhouse crop has gained a foothold in Canada. Is the U.S. next?Treena HeinACROSS ENGLAND,Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Australia, sweet lupin is a common crop. In Alberta Canada, government funding supports a small lupin research acre-age. The crop may soon appear in some Northern areas of the United States as well.There are, of course, good reasons for growing sweet lupin. As a protein crop, sweet lupin is sweet indeed. Most impor-tantly, it offers a similar protein percentage to soybeans, about 36%, with a complete amino acid profile. It also has lots of dietary fiber, very little starch, moderate levels (8%) of mostly unsaturated fat and moderate healthy carotenoids such as beta carotene. With growing skill in the right soil and geographic area, sweet lupin can achieve comparable yield to field peas. The two crops both favor regular rain and not too much heat. Alkaline soils are a no-go for lupin: Soil pH must be less than 7.8 or 7.4, depending on the variety. Its also a good rotational choice. Tristan Choi, a researcher dedicated to lupin research in Canada, says that as a legume, sweet lupin fixes nitrogen but provides another important benefit.Independent research has found that our lupin varieties are resistant to Aphanomyces root rot, which can dramatically reduce yield in field peas and some other pulse crops, says Choi, who is at the helm of Lupin Platform Inc., the Canadian company in its fourth year of developing the lupin value chain. Faba beans are also resistant to this pathogen, but sweet lupin may be able to be grown in areas where faba beans cannot.LPI has Canadian registration for three European varieties bred and has exclusive distribution licenses for North America. Although the flower color tends to shift throughout the grow-ing season, one is known as a white variety (Lupinus albus) and called Dieta. The others are blue varieties (L. angustifolius) called Boregine and Lunabor. Choi explains that at this point, all are considered food-grade varieties but feed uses are planned for both as well. Red River Seeds and JS Henry and Son in Manitoba are mul-tiplying Dieta. Boregine and Lunabor seed production is taking place at Galloway Seeds, Lindholm Seed Farm and Brian Ellis Blue lupin.PHOTO: ROBYNE DAVIDSON Seed in Alberta. 48/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'