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Putnam, D.H. 1993. An interdisciplinary approach to the development of lupin as an alternative crop. p. 266-277. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Development of Lupin as an Alternative Crop

Daniel H. Putnam*

    1. Cultivars
    2. Planting Date
    3. Inoculation
    4. Row Spacing
    5. Weed Control
    6. Intercropping
  16. Table 1
  17. Table 2
  18. Table 3
  19. Table 4
  20. Table 5
  21. Table 6
  22. Table 7
  23. Fig. 1
  24. Fig. 2
  25. Fig. 3

From the ashen wasteland of Mount St. Helens to the barren frozen Arctic, from the heights of the Andes to the cool Mediterranean or Texas plains, over 300 Lupinus species have found their place in the natural world. Although its agricultural history is also thousands of years old, in many regions of the world lupin is still a "new" crop plant. Lupins are high in protein, do not contain antinutritional factors, are high N-fixers, have value in a rotation and have an upright, non-shattering habit. However, other factors such as economics and competition from established crops are important to the success of a new crop and it is not yet clear the place lupins will occupy in modern agricultural systems. This paper describes how a group of researchers approached the problem of using lupin (Lupinus albus) as an alternative source of protein for dairy or other livestock farmers in central Minnesota. Our experience with this crop during a collaborative project conducted between 1988 and 1991 might be of use to others who are exploring the application of lupin or similar species in different parts of the world.


Cultivated lupins are cool-season grain legumes or forage crops (Fig. 1). There are five species cultivated worldwide (L. albus, L. augustifolius, L. luteus, L. mutabalis, and L. cosentenii), in climates ranging from northern Europe and Russia, to the arid Australian plains and the Andean highlands. Both spring-sown and fall-sown types are grown, but only the spring types are adapted to the northern Midwest, Northeast, and Canada. Agricultural production of lupin represents a fraction of a percent of the grain legumes grown worldwide, largely because of its historically bitter seed (Williams 1986). However, lupin is one of the few grain legumes that come close to soybean in protein content of the seed (Hymowitz 1990). The large seed and lack of antinutritional factors make lupin a potential crop for many animal feed formulations, for direct feeding, and as a human food.


Lupin as a crop species was important to many of the Mediterranean civilizations, and was apparently independently domesticated in both the Old and New World (Gross 1986). The crop is mentioned as commonplace by the poet Virgil (70 BC), and by Greek and Persian writers (1500 AD) (Hondelmann 1984). The large seed was reportedly used as play money during Roman times. In their exploration of the New World, Spaniards noted that the Andean civilizations had lupins (Tarwi, or Lupinus mutabilis) "as we have in Spain" (Hondelmann 1984).

In the case of lupin, the crop introduction process seems to have occurred many times. Arab conquests spread lupin across northern Africa and into the Iberian peninsula. Frederick the Great was responsible for introducing lupin from Italy to northern Prussia. In most of these cultures, lupin was traditionally used either for grazing, or the bitter seed was soaked before use by man or animal. Shortly after WWI, the German Botanical Society held a "lupin dinner" to generate interest in the crop, featuring lupin steaks, liquor, coffee, tablecloths, napkins, and other items made from the crop (Hondelmann 1984). This sparked subsequent breeding efforts, resulting in "sweet" or low-alkaloid lupin types developed in the 1920s, essentially creating a new crop from the old, bitter types. This represents one of the first applications of Mendelian genetics to crop plants.

The process of introduction of the newer "sweet" lupins, as distinct from the older "bitter" types is still occurring. For example, Chilean researchers have introduced sweet Lupinus albus varieties to southern Chile, and have also developed low alkaloid Lupinus mutabalis varieties which may have applications in the high mountain areas where the traditional bitter Lupinus mutabalis (tarwi) types are grown (Von Baer 1991). Soviet, Polish, German, and South African efforts following World War II led to the development of significant, though erratic hectarage in those regions. Perhaps the largest success story for the modern development of lupin as an introduced species is in Australia, where the blue or narrow-leaf lupin (Lupinus angustifolius L., a more drought resistant species) was introduced in the 1960s and 1970s as a legume to rotate with wheat. In spite of early difficulties, strong cooperation between researchers (especially J. Gladstones, plant breeder), advisers, marketers, and farmers in the Geraldton area resulted in increases in planted area to currently over 900,000 ha in Western Australia. Although some of the crop is used for grazing, a large quantity of this seed is exported to the EEC or Pacific rim countries for use as a high protein animal feed.

The first experimental plantings of lupin in the United States were probably made in the 1930s by USDA researchers, primarily as a green manure or cover crop in the southern cotton belt. Area increased by 1950 to over one million hectares in the "lupin belt," the coastal plain stretching across the southeastern United States. The crop had essentially disappeared by the 1960s, largely because of availability of cheap N fertilizers and lack of government support (Reeves 1991). In the North, Fred Elliott worked for many years in Michigan developing improved white lupin lines, and later introduced several new cultivars to Minnesota and Canada in the early 1980s (Putnam 1991). Efforts by plant breeder Gene Aksland (Resource Seeds, Gilroy, CA), and experimental work in the Pacific Northwest and Canada were important in introducing the crop to those regions in the 1980s.


The American dairy industry in the 1980s experienced increased production costs, lower milk prices, and higher debt which forced many farmers to look seriously at cutting costs, especially the possibility of reducing purchased protein inputs. In spite of the fact that Minnesota is a major soybean (Glycine max) producer, the purchase of soybean meal by Minnesota dairy producers is a significant expense, similar to the costs experienced by producers in protein-poor regions, such as the northeastern United States, eastern Canada, and parts of Europe. The large seed of white lupin is high in protein and oil, and has been fed directly to a wide range of livestock. Hence, it was an excellent candidate for farmers who desired to increase on-farm production of protein. In addition, there are many regions where the temperatures are too cold and the soils too sandy for soybean. There were several farmers in central Minnesota who had worked with lupin, in addition to early work at the University of Minnesota and by the Tennessee Valley Authority. A Minnesota company later developed lupin pasta and other products from white lupin (Putnam 1991). However, there was much that was not known about many aspects of production and utilization of the crop.


Several brainstorming sessions were held in 1987 with university researchers, private businesses, and others to examine the validity of lupin as a crop. These were sponsored by the Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products, University of Minnesota. Subjects within the areas of agronomy, weed science, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, agricultural engineering, animal science, and agricultural economics were identified as important research areas, and an interdisciplinary research team was assembled from the appropriate university departments and extension. Staples Irrigation Center personnel provided technical support, and cooperating farmers in central Minnesota were identified and contacted by county extension agents.

The Central Minnesota Initiative Fund, Bremer Foundation, and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (all Minnesota-based foundations) provided funding. These agencies were primarily interested in developing the economy of rural Minnesota, which has been depressed for much of the 1980s despite economic growth in urban Minnesota. In addition, lupin had the potential to reduce energy and financial input costs associated with protein production, a goal in line with a more environmentally-friendly agriculture.

The objective was to focus intensive interdisciplinary efforts over a three-year period (1988-1991) to: (1) enhance probability of success by conducting research on limiting factors, (2) educate farmers and the public on the possibilities for production and utilization of lupin, and (3) assess the risk of producing lupin as an alternative protein source.


A number of studies were undertaken in different departments to address factors which might affect the success of growing or utilizing lupin. These were conducted at the University of Minnesota Experiment Stations at Staples, Becker, Grand Rapids, Rosemount, and St. Paul. The yield potential of white lupin at some sites was relatively high (3,000 to 4,000 kg/ha), but a large yield variation from site to site and year to year was observed. The overall objectives of this research were to understand the factors which contributed to this wide yield variation, in order to enable farmers to optimize management practices for this crop.



We evaluated a number of white lupin (Lupinus albus) lines, as well as several L. angustifolius and L. luteus cultivars obtained from the USSR, Poland, and Australia. Both replicated yield trials and germplasm screening were conducted. White lupin was much more productive than other lupin species on the irrigated sands of central Minnesota and a number of white lupin varieties showed acceptable productivity in the north central states (Table 1). Yield differences between white lupin cultivars were highly environment-specific, and were generally non-significant when averaged over years and sites. The earlier spring-type lines were generally more productive. Factors other than cultivar selection for yield, such as seed quality, seed size, alkaloid content, or time to maturity may be more important when considering seed source for white lupin. Smaller seed size potentially allows more reliable imbibition and stand establishment in the spring, and reduces cost of seed, a major economic factor with white lupin.

Planting Date

Date of planting had a large influence on lupin performance. Mid-April planting resulted in maximum seed yield over five years of trials. Yield declined linearly about 53 kg/ha per day in plantings sown after the optimum date (11 year/location mean, Fig. 2). However, very early plantings sometimes vernalized the plants, reducing height, node number, and yield due largely to early cold effects on the seedling. Studies of yield formation on vernalized vs. non-vernalized plants indicated that pod number was dramatically altered by planting date or vernalization. Plants which had one primary branch inflorescence contributed most to yield, compared to plants which only set mainstem pods. Thermosensitivity in white lupin remains an important agronomic factor in the spring-sown crop, and the window for optimum seeding date is relatively narrow.


Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) inoculation resulted in a 1.5, 2, and 5-fold increase in yield in 1988, 1989, and 1990, respectively, compared to non-inoculated controls (Table 2). Seed protein was significantly impacted by nitrogen source, and increased 28 to 45% due to inoculation (Ayisi et al. 1992b). This was a large difference, and may explain the large variation in seed protein that is sometimes observed in lupin seed lots. White lupins were shown to fix 157 to 196 kg N/ha (1989 and 1990, respectively) from the atmosphere. Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus) persisted on these soils, but populations were low with only one year of inoculation (Ayisi et al. 1992a). These results emphasized the importance of regular inoculation for white lupin yield and quality.

Row Spacing

Narrow rows (15 cm) produced 34% higher yield than wider rows (76 cm) (average of two trials). However, due to weed problems in lupin production, wider rows with cultivation should be considered in situations where chemical weed control is unavailable, unreliable, undesirable, or not economic (Putnam et al. 1991).

Weed Control

Weeds are one of the biggest problems in producing lupins in this region. The lupin canopy develops and expands slowly, therefore, weeds have the opportunity to germinate and compete with the lupin crop. In Minnesota, the broadleaf weeds common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) and common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) were especially troublesome. The EPA-approved chemical control measures Dual (metolachlor), Prowl (pendimethalin), and Poast (sethoxydim) provide some control against some annual grassy and broadleaf weeds, but do not help in controlling these problem broadleaf weeds (especially the late-germinating weeds).

In a two-year study, the herbicide imazethapyr (Pursuit) was applied at two rates and two post-emergence dates, and provided excellent control of common lambsquarters and common ragweed. However, the lupin crop was severely injured in both years causing large yield reductions. In Wisconsin, imazethopyr-induced injury was not observed and this product is currently labeled in several states for use on heavier soils. At this point, the crop injury potential outweighs the benefits of this measure in Minnesota (Gunsolus and Wiens 1991).

Mechanical cultivation in wide rows, early seeding in narrow rows, rotary hoeing, intercropping, or other measures may improve the weed control options, but reliable weed control for production of white lupin remains a problem.


Lupin interplanted with peas (Pisum sativum L.) is an experimental practice, but has shown some promise over two years of trials. The lupins prevent lodging in the peas, and the pea provides an earlier canopy closure for weed control in the lupin. Since both crops are grown for a high protein seed, the products are compatible. Land Equivalent Ratios for this mixture have been shown to be above one for some density combinations of the two crops. In this system, peas appear to benefit more than lupins, largely because they are more competitive. Further research is needed to determine whether complementation occurs in this mixture (Putnam et al. 1991).


Irrigation increased lupin seed yields 553, 229, and 52% in 1988, 1989, 1990, respectively, primarily through increased pod number (Fig. 3). Optimum irrigation rates for maximizing water-use efficiency and economic returns were described. Seed crude protein concentration declined at high irrigation rates. Irrigation was cost-effective in most years on sandy soils (Putnam et al. 1992).


Lupin pathogens common in Minnesota were identified. A number of pathogenic fungi were isolated from lupin throughout the 1989 and 1990 growing season (Table 3). Fusarium sp. and Rhizoctonia were most commonly isolated. Fusarium was associated with root rot and wilt symptoms and Ascochyta was found to cause a stem canker and pod lesions. Ascochyta infected seeds were found to have lower germination and emergence than healthy seed (Table 4). Pleiocheata setosa was found associated with a foliar and pod spot and caused plant defoliation when infections were severe. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides caused anthracnose on several species of Lupinus and appeared as a purple to pink stem lesion with resulting epinasty. This disease has the potential to cause substantial crop loss in severely infected fields and did so in the 1991 growing season.

Seed treatments of lupin were generally ineffective in improving stand establishment in our trials. Reduced stand has been a problem in many areas of the region and damping off and root rot organisms have been associated with these reduced stands. Seed treatments used on seeds of other crops (e.g., field bean) did not improve lupin stands in seed treatment trials.

Most of the diseases were found on a limited basis in production fields in Minnesota during the survey years of 1989 and 1990. The use of proper cultural control practices such as rotation and the use of clean seed must be continued to reduce the chances of crop failure due to disease.


Results of experiments indicate that most of the commonly observed insects on lupin appear to be of little economic importance. The seedcorn maggot (Delia platura Meigen) has caused stand losses to the extent that yields have sometimes been decreased, but in two years of trials, insecticide treatments do not appear to be justified. The foliar insects, potato leafhopper Empoasca fabae (Harris), and plant bugs (Lygus sp. and Adelphocoris sp.) have been observed feeding on lupin foliage, but do not appear to be economically important. Blossom feeders, such as blister beetles and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae sp.) are generally not important in Minnesota, but have been a problem in drier environments (e.g., in North Dakota trials). No insecticides are currently labeled for use on lupin, but this does not seem to be a severe limitation at this time.


White lupins are high in protein (32 to 38%) and oil (10 to 11%) and do not contain anti-nutritional compounds, such as trypsin inhibitors. They have been fed directly to a wide variety of livestock. Lupin fed to livestock should have an alkaloid content of less than 0.02%. Palatability may still be an important factor with swine, even with seemingly "sweet" lupin types. It is possible that environment significantly impacts alkaloid level of seedlots. Several-fold variation in alkaloid content due to environment has been observed with L. augustifolius in Australia (J. Gladstone pers. commun.). Studies were conducted on the effect of feeding lupins to dairy cows and swine.

Conducted in Minnesota, swine trials using defatted, dehulled meal have indicated a decline in swine performance when fed this product. Results reported in the literature on swine performance with lupins have been mixed (Hill 1991). Feed intake was significantly affected in growing-finishing swine. University of Minnesota studies indicate that lupins should not be included at levels greater than 8 to 10% of dietary dry matter for swine. It appears that pigs are much more susceptible than other animals to either the alkaloid levels or the manganese content of lupins, thus it is imperative that lupins for swine be examined carefully for alkaloid level.

Dairy feeding trials indicated that cows producing less than 9,000 kg of milk per year should perform as well on lupins as on soybean meal. In addition, there was a 3.5% increase in fat-corrected milk yield when lupins supplied 75% of the supplemental protein in the diet, compared with soybean meal, possibly due to higher fat content of the lupin (Table 5). Lupins are approximately 35% protein compared with 44% for soybean meal. Because lupins are more degradable than soybean meal, they should not be the only source of supplemental protein for herds with higher production. Our trials have shown that coarse grinding of lupin seed improves protein utilization. Milk production from roasted lupins was found to be similar to that from soybean meal in trials from other regions (Singh et al. 1991). Several dairy and livestock producers in central Minnesota and Wisconsin have successfully incorporated lupin in their feeding programs.


Farm enterprise budgets for lupin were developed (Table 6). Costs of production for lupin and soybean were similar with the exception of seed costs, which were higher for lupin. Since the value of lupin is currently primarily in the protein, lupin prices were determined as a percentage of soybean meal, and we calculated returns based upon several cost/price assumptions (Table 6). It is clear from this analysis that either the costs of production must decrease or the value of the product of lupin must increase to improve the economic viability of lupin as a cash crop in central Minnesota. Current cash value of lupin is about $4.00 to $4.70/bu ($147/t to $173/t) and soybean $5.50 to $5.70/bu ($202 to $209/t), and the (low) price of other protein sources (primarily soybean) is a major disincentive to lupin expansion at this time, both in Minnesota and worldwide. However, the value of lupin as an on-farm source of protein is significantly different from a cash crop, and should be assigned differently. For example, many producers place a value on the idea of self-sufficiency in producing their own feed, reducing cash requirements of such practices, and thus reduced probability of negative cash flow. Further analysis is required to estimate this value.


On-Farm trials were conducted from 1988-1990 to understand the problems encountered in production systems and to compare lupin productivity with other crops. Non-irrigated plots were severely affected by weeds and drought in 1988 and 1989, making the data collected less useful. In 1990, a replicated on-farm comparison between lupin and soybean gave a fair comparison between the crops, and showed that lupin was similar to soybean at more southerly locations, but superior at northerly Minnesota locations (Table 7). These experiences were largely anecdotal, but were valuable in indicating where lupins would fit in Minnesota, and in describing the problems encountered by producers. A `case-study' about the introduction of lupin as a new crop, used as a teaching tool to illustrate the problem of new crop introduction, was developed from these experiences (Simmons et al. 1992).

The issue of competition from currently-used crops is important when considering any new crop alternative, and our on-farm studies indicated that there are regions in southern and central Minnesota where soybeans are more viable and regions in the north where lupin is more viable as a grain legume. There has also been a move in some quarters towards greater use of whole roasted soybean as an on-farm source of protein, a use which was also furthered by this research.


Research field days, winter meetings, and farm tours were conducted, and fact sheets were developed (Putnam et al. 1989). A Lupin Production Guide was produced which contains color photographs and a description of agronomic practices, diseases, insects, and feeding of lupin (Meronuck et al. 1991).

A symposium was held at St. Paul, MN, 21-22 March 1991 to present results of our studies with lupin and to discuss the prospects of the crop with scientists from other regions. This symposium enabled us to broaden our consideration of lupin to include those who had worked with the crop in other regions. Research results and farmers' experiences with lupins (positive and negative) were reported and published in a proceedings which serves as a record of the status of lupins in North America at the time (CAPAP 1991). This symposium and earlier contacts between researchers, resulted in the formation of the North American Lupin Association, which now publishes a newsletter (contact Dr. Paul Mask, Extension Hall, Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL 36849 for information). This has as its goal facilitation of communication between those working on this crop in either research or industry.

An interesting spin-off of the lupin project was the development of a joint US-Soviet database on lupin. In 1989, J. Orf (soybean breeder), R.A. Meronuck (plant pathologist), and D.H. Putnam (agronomist) traveled to Moscow, Kiev, and Poland to investigate the lupin work being conducted there. The contacts made during that trip resulted in the creation of a database containing over 4,500 entries from the former eastern block countries, the former USSR, and English-speaking sources. It is hoped that this database will be of use to lupin researchers and industry in years to come.

Our educational and outreach efforts with lupin underscores the importance of sharing of experiences and information networking with minor crops. There are very few individuals who have in-depth knowledge of minor crops worldwide, and still fewer who have extensive knowledge of any individual crop. In situations such as these, symposia, newsletters, and other information-sharing mechanisms become vital to the future development of that crop. This type of outreach has already yielded valuable interactions in the area of research and extension in the case of lupin.


We analyzed the lupin crop from a production-utilization-marketing perspective, with many disciplines within the University of Minnesota, farmers and outside agencies contributing to a cooperative effort. Unlike many alternative crops, utilization pathways for lupin are broad and numerous (primarily as a dairy feed, but also for poultry and human food), and production constraints are of primary importance. Weed control, sensitivity to soil or climatic variations, diseases, and stand establishment are the primary concerns at this time. Farmers in many cases have overcome these obstacles, and some of the data we have generated may help in controlling the fluctuation in yield levels. However, further work, especially on weed control, is needed to create a reliable production management system.

It is neither likely nor necessarily desirable that lupin replace soybean or other grain legumes in areas where those crops are well adapted. However, there are many regions where lupin could make a valuable contribution to cropping systems and to farmers' economic options due to its high nutritional value and adaptation to poor sandy soils. Significant changes in the value of the harvested product or reduction in the costs of production (primarily seed costs) would give producers incentives to improve the production systems for lupin. The current use patterns for lupin have valued the crop essentially as a replacement for protein commodities traded on the world market, a comparison made in central Minnesota as well as in central Europe. Interesting ideas for the improvement in the value of lupins have been the potential for reducing saturated fats of milk or meat products from lupin-fed animals (M. McNiven pers. commun.), or the utilization of lupin alkaloids for pharmaceutical-use or plant protection (Binsack 1991). Multiple-use models have been critical to the development of other crops (e.g., soybean).

We found an interdisciplinary approach to lupin research and development to be beneficial towards a more complete understanding of the new crop development problem from a production-utilization-marketing perspective. The new-crop development process is often described as long-term, and lupin is no exception. Each piece of information and each step may move us slightly in the direction of producing a more viable new crop. It is clear, however, that cooperation between disciplines is essential to this process.


*I acknowledge the following cooperators: R.A. Meronuck, D. Otterby, K.K. Ayisi, L.A. Field, J.L. Gunsolus, L.L. Hardman, D.G. Johnson, R. Kalis-Kusnia, N. Krause, M. May, L. McCann, D. Noetzel, K. Olson, J. Orf, S.R. Simmons, E.L. Stewart, M. Wiens, and J. Wright.
Table 1. Performance of lupin cultivars at Minnesota Experiment Stations.

Seed yield (kg/ha)
Becker Grand Rapids Rosemount Staples
Variety 1990 1987-1990 1990 1988-1990 1990 1987-1990 1990 1988-1990 Overall avg.z
Blanca 101 3033 1945 4225 2547 4264 2078 2688 2576 2222
Gela x 243 2509 1895 4107 2406 3960 2116 2656 2312 2157
Horizont 3223 2057 4010 2220 4240 2084 3203 2412 2176
Kiev --- 1262 --- 921 --- 1258 2791 2398 ---
L2019 N 2766 --- 4172 --- 3734 --- 2640 --- ---
L2085 N 2862 --- 4301 --- 3924 --- 2859 --- ---
Primorski 2989 1828 4220 2330 3907 2084 2630 2160 2075
Strain 21 2791 1877 3994 2369 3917 2013 3017 2529 2160
Ultra 2848 1841 4172 2257 4316 1869 3559 2507 2081
46-10 2992 1866 4064 2311 4340 2026 3083 2421 2126
47-5 2821 2012 3661 2009 3895 1973 3320 2463 2097
LSD 5% 449 482 573 577 678 450 582 590 519
zBecker and Rosemount 1987-1990, Grand Rapids and Staples 1988-1990.

Table 2. Inoculation and N fertilizer effects on lupin yield and protein (Becker, MN). In our trials, N fertilizer was not required to maximize yield and inoculation significantly improved seed protein compared with non-inoculated plots, even when N fertilizer was applied.

Treatments Seed yield (kg/ha) Seed proteiny (%)
N Fertilizer Inoculumz 1988 1989 1990 1988 1989 1990
0 + 1002 2943 2850 39.1 36.1 32.3
56 + 1187 3155 2709 40.1 32.0 31.3
112 + 1184 3260 2723 40.6 33.0 32.5
168 + 1251 3468 2161 40.7 33.8 31.4
0 - 657 1509 575 30.7 25.7 22.4
56 - 963 2180 1571 28.7 26.1 23.7
112 - 1008 2668 2483 30.5 30.2 24.8
168 - 949 2959 2346 32.5 30.7 26.5
z+ = inoculated with Bradyrhizobium sp. (Lupinus); - = non-inoculated.
yDry matter basis.

Table 3. Fungi isolated from Lupinus spp. during the 1988 and 1990 growing seasons.

Fungus Plant partz No. of
Fusarium Link:Fr. HRLS 109y
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn AG-4v HR 46
Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc.v SR 46
Pleiochaeta setosa (Kirchn.) S.J. Hughesv RLP 29
Trichoderma Pers.:Fr. R 17y
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn HR 17w
Ascochyta Lib.v RSPLB 17y
Fusarium oxysporum Schlechtend.:Fr.v RS 16
Fusarium acuminatum Ellis & Everh.v R 15
Alternaria alternata (Fr.:Fr.) Keissl. RSLB 15
Fusarium avenaceum (Fr.:Fr.) Sacc.v SL 14
Fusarium subglutinans (Wollenweb. & Reinking) P.E. Nelson, T.A. Toussoun, & Marasasv R 10
Pythium Pringsh. RH 4y
Pythium rostratum E.J. Butler R 3
Epicoccum purpurascans Ehrenb. ex Schlechtend. SL 2
Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Pens.) Pens. & Sacc. in Penz. S 1
Curvularia protuberata R.R. Nelson & C.S. Hodges B 1
Fusarium moniliforme J. Sheld. R 1x
Nigrospora sphaerica (Sacc.) E. Mason S 1
Phoma glomerata (Corda) Wollenweb. & Hochapfel L 1
Pythium ultimum Trow R 1
Sclerotinia Fuckel P 1y
zR (roots), H (hypocotyl), L (leaves), S (stem), P (pod), and B (bean or seed).
yNot identified to species.
xIsolated from plants in growth chamber only.
wNot identified to AG group.
vPathogenticity tests were conducted on fungus.

Table 4. Effect of Ascochyta infection on germination and emergence of Lupinus albus seed.

Distribution (%)
Event 1 2 3 4
Germination 100.0 90.0 63.0 3.0
Emergencey 89.0 84.0 36.0 8.0
z1 = no discoloration, 2 = each seed slightly discolored, 3 = half of each seed discolored, and 4 = most of each seed discolored with ruptured seed coat.
y100 seeds from each category were planted in sterilized soil and emergence counts taken after 14 days.

Table 5. Response of dairy cows fed sweet white lupins (day 22 to 140 post-partum).

Milk yield (kg/day) Fat yield Protein yield
Treatmentz No. cows uncorrected 3.5% fat corrected (%) (kg/day) (%) (kg/day) Dry matter
SSSS 11 27.3 27.5by 3.7 0.97 3.0 0.82 19.9
SSSL 11 28.9 29.1ab 3.7 1.03 3.0 0.86 20.8
SSLL 10 28.4 28.6ab 3.6 1.01 2.9 0.81 20.6
SLLL 12 30.0 30.3a 3.7 1.08 2.9 0.86 21.0
LLLL 10 28.3 28.8ab 3.8 1.02 2.9 0.82 20.4
SE 0.84 0.68 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.02 0.49
All means are covariately adjusted.
zSSSS = 100% of supplemental protein as soybean meal. Each 'L' represents 25% of this protein being replaced by lupin protein.
yTreatment means with different subscripts are significantly different (P < .06).

Table 6. Simplified sample enterprise budget for irrigated lupin and soybean for Staples, MN (1991). Seed costs are a major component of production costs for lupin, but value of the product is also important. Lupin has been valued at 72 to 85% the value of soybean meal in markets in the upper Midwest. Allocated overhead costs have been estimated to be $444.53/ha for lupin and $458.25/ha for soybean (Olson and Putnam 1991).

Item Lupin Soybean
Yield (kg/ha)
Average yield (6-year mean, Staples, MN) 3158 2755
Variable costs per acre Budget ($/ha)
Seed 96.37 27.18
Fertilizer --- 30.15
Pesticides 44.50 44.48
Irrigation costs 61.16 61.16
Fuel and lubrication 27.38 30.29
Repairs and maintenance 16.38 17.79
Interest on cash expense 8.97 10.55
Total variable costs 254.74 221.60
Returns over variable costs for various lupin/soybean value/cost ratios
($147.04/t lupin, $207.41/t soybean) 210.75 349.81
($172.54/t lupin, $207.41/t soybean) 290.14 349.81
($172.54/t lupin, $207.41/t soybean, lupin seed costs decreased by half) 338.33 349.81
($207.41/t lupin, $207.41/t soybean) 400.26 349.81
($207.41/t lupin, $207.41/t soybean, lupin seed costs decreased by half) 448.45 349.81

Table 7. Performance of lupin and soybean on six Minnesota farms, 1990, in counties ranging from south to north.

Seed yieldz (kg/ha) Crude protein (%)
Countyy Lupin Soybean Lupin Soybean
Benton 1674 1769NSx 35 36NS
Stearnsw 3039 3040NS 37 38NS
Stearns 2613 2508NS 37 38NS
Todd 1962 839** 38 37NS
Wadenaw 2497 2025** 37 38NS
Aitkin 151 93* 39 36**
zAverage of 16 observations per crop per farm.
yCounties are listed North to South.
xNS, *, and ** indicate nonsignificant, significant at P=0.05, and significant at P=0.01, respectively.
wIrrigated sites.

Fig. 1. Growth stages of spring-sown white lupin (Lupinus albus). The relatively large seed and upright habit makes lupin an attractive grain legume crop.

Fig. 2. Date of seeding has a strong influence on lupin performance. This graph shows the yield penalty for late planting past an optimum in central Minnesota, usually mid-April (11 year/location mean).

Fig. 3. Lupin response to irrigation on sandy soils has been large. White lupin is not particularly drought resistant, although narrow-leaf lupin is grown on large acreages in Australia under low moisture conditions.
Last update April 10, 1997 aw