Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of peas. Peas are also one of Canada’s largest pulse crops and are grown over a very large geographic area, including significant portions of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Field peas have been grown to a limited extent in western Canada ever since farmers started farming the prairies. Pea production began to increase in the late 1970’s and has been growing consistently since then. Currently, about 4 million acres of peas are grown across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Canada grows primarily yellow and green peas along with smaller quantities of maple, marrowfat peas.
Canadian peas are exported around the world as both a food ingredient and a feed ingredient. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Food grade peas are used as split and whole peas in food ingredients, as well as pea flour, starch, protein and fibre fractions. Feed Peas are an excellent source of energy and amino acids that are suitable to diets for all livestock. Generally regarded for both its protein and energy content, peas are considered a multi-purpose feed ingredient. Pea and pea protein concentrate are also a protein source for aquaculture diets.
Peas are considered a legume and when growing, legumes fix nitrogen into the soil, which reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and improve the environmental sustainability of annual cropping systems.