Why Hervé Hugon embarks on the cultivation of blond lentils in Cantal

“Agriculture has always been in our blood.” With parents and in-laws who are farmers, Hervé Hugon and his wife, Maryline, are passionate. However, they did not take over the family farms and chose a completely different career: Hervé is now a technical manager at Adapei, and Maryline is a nursing assistant.

But six years ago, upon inheriting some twenty hectares of land in the municipalities of Chaliers and Lorcières, they decided to exploit the vacant plots by dedicating themselves to sheep farming, with some thirty animals. And so in turn become part-time farmers. Last fall, they added a string to their bow by growing cereals, triticale, on 2.5 hectares, “to be self-sufficient in feeding the animals,” explains Hervé.

Why did Adapei du Cantal buy the blonde lentil from Saint-Flour?

Today, they take on a new challenge with the cultivation of blond lentils, on two hectares in Saint-Léger-du-Malzieu, under the leadership of Serge Ramadier, their technician, who has always called them. “In February, he came to see our land here and identified two parcels and we left,” says Hervé. “But for me, everything is new,” he continues. So I researched on the internet, read books about lentils and took advice from other farmers, from my father and stepfather who know the land well.”

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In two hectares to start

Thus, after having prepared and plowed the two plots selected by Serge Ramadier, ideal for lentils “because the soil is draining and very sunny”, Hervé will sow about 200 kilos of seeds in a few days “and some golden peas also in the middle one hectare”, and will make his first harvest in August, which he already estimates between 1.5 and 2 tons. Before starting again with new plantings, in two new plots, the time to let the land rest, for a necessary time of about five years.
“Maybe I will too. [de la lentille, ndlr] in Corbiere [commune de Chaliers, ndlr]. I will not be in the lens area, but that does not matter, it still sells well, ”says Hervé, who does not regret his choice of diversification. “It allows me to exploit land that was not used and then economically, it is interesting. First, because it represents little investment and the yield per hectare is from 800 kilos to a ton. Then because after the first harvests, I will plant cereals, part of which I will sell”.

Isabelle Barnerias

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