Holland's Miranda pea may soon be commercially produced in Sanpete County.
The Extension Service has conducted field trials on the Miranda pea from Amsterdam for two years.Now, Moroni Feed Co. has investigated its potential as a food supplement to the soybeans in the mash that feeds 3 million turkeys.
The testing has proved positive for commercial production of the Miranda pea in Sanpete County, according to Gary Anderson, county extension agent.
Miranda is a high-protein pea that has several advantages for the county, among them lower feed costs because most grains are now imported, a maturity date that provides for more efficient use of irrigation water, which is in short supply by late July, and a good rotation crop that returns nutrients to the soil, Grant Stevens said.
Stevens Bros. - Richard, Lloyd, Grant and Charlie - is now negotiating with a firm in Holland on becoming the U.S. producer of Miranda breeder stock peas. And the brothers have shown their faith in Miranda by planting 18 acres of the new variety.
But Stevens Bros. is involved in more projects than a field of peas. Last year the company imported 2.5 million pounds of seeds: the kind farmers plant - grain, alfalfa, grass - but also seeds from plants native to the Great Basin area and seeds used in reclamation projects such as the rehabilitation of mining sites.
And they have several collectors who gather exotic seeds throughout the West.
"The money for the seeds we import is gone," Grant Stevens said, "and we've asked ourselves why Sanpete County can't become a major seed producer and local farmers have what they urgently need - a substantial cash crop?"