There are different varieties of lentils and I have raised two, red lentils and small browns. Each variety has its own market and everything we raise is exported to other countries. Very little of what is raised in our area is used for consumption in the United States.
Lentils can trace their origin to the Middle East and Biblical times. They are very high in protein and are excellent in soups. They are a small plant with small pods and are also a legume. Since they are a small plant they are very hard to pick up during harvest. They are planted in the spring and yields range from 900 to 1,800 pounds depending upon the year and the variety.
Lentils are very efficient at extracting water from the soil which leads to lower wheat yields than wheat planted on peas. Red lentils go through a process called decordicating. Decordicating is the removal of the outside layer or husk revealing a beautiful orange color on red lentils.