Farmers plant 20 percent more peas as vegan meat replaces animal agriculture
Farmers in the US and Canada are upping the production of peas as the amount of crops grown for animal agriculture continues to decline.
Farmers planted approximately 20 percent more peas this year, while the amount it corn, soy and wheat crops grown for feed in the animal agriculture industry has fallen by 3 percent.
The popularity of plant-based meat alternatives such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which both use pea protein as a key ingredient, is driving the change.
Prices of peas are increasing due to soaring demand – each bushel now bringing farmers in $5, up from about $2.80 a few years ago.
Pea farmer Paul Kanning, from Montana, US, told Bloomberg: “I’m excited about things like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger that are putting pea protein in their burgers. It’s awesome.”
“The demand is going to do nothing but increase, I believe, and you will see production increase in various areas of the US.”
Another Montana farmer, Tony Fast, said he had increased his pea crop by 20 percent from 1,800 acres to 2,000 acres this year.
“At the beginning we didn’t see [peas] as a money maker—they just made the farm more sustainable. I am excited for new markets for the peas,” he said.
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