Lentil thrives in cool, dry conditions where they can remain relatively free of disease, hints why they are commonly grown in the northern great plains. With a shallow rooting structure that doesn't have the ability to reach subsoil moisture, low water use and supports mycorrhizal fungi, makes lentils an excellent cover in front of cereals or deep rooting crops. Though not recommended to be grown for production in higher rainfall environments, if excessive moisture is present during the growing season it will delay plant maturity. This will be excellent for producers who want to plant a summer fallow mixture where the mix can continue to grow under ideal conditions. Lentil are known for their ability to emerge through thick cereal stubble due to their strong seedling vigor. With rapid seed germination, seedlings generally out grow the threat of insects or disease pressure during establishment. Throughout its life cycle, lentil provides a higher quality forage. Mature lentil straw is much higher in CP, digestibility and palatability when compared to cereal straws.
When is the right time to plant? Compare the germination temperature listed below to your soil temperature. Read this article for more info: When Can I Start Planting?
|Maturity (Days)||Seeds/lb||C/N at Maturity||Growth Habit||Root Type/Depth||Cold Kill (F)||Dry Matter Potential(Tons/acre)|
|75-100||20000||Low||Prostrate||Shallow Taproot||20||2 - 2.5|
|Use and Characteristics|
|N Fix Potential||Lasting Residue||Palatability||Hay Harvest||Regrowth||Deep Compaction||Surface Compaction||Weed Suppression||Crimp Kill|
|75 - 125||Fair||Good||Good||Good||Poor||Good||Poor||Easy|
|Plant Depth||Min Germ Temp(F)||Drilled Seed Rate (lbs/acre)||Broadcast Seed Rate (lb/acre)|
|1 - 2"||40||20 - 25||25 - 35|
|Heat||Drought||Shade||Wet Soil||Low Fertility||Low pH Soil||High pH Salinity||High pH Calcareous|
|Good||Very Good||Good||Poor||Good||Very Good||Fair||Very Good|