The Legume Society was founded in 2011 with two primary missions. One of them was to treasure the rich legume research tradition of the former European Association for Grain Legume Research (AEP), with emphasis on carrying out its the triennial legume-devoted conferences. Another one is to fulfill a long-term strategy of linking together the research on all legumes worldwide, from grain and forage legumes pharmaceutical and ornamental ones and from the Old World to the Americas.

So far, the Legume Society gathered together more than 200 legume researchers worldwide.


The purposes of such pan-European, all-legume, interactive, multifunctional and sustainable society and its network are three-fold: scientific, economic and social.

  1. Scientific benefits.
    • The national, bilateral and multilateral projects, funded by national and international bodies, will be linked together in an efficient, useful and productive way;
    • The results and the databases will be more accessible, available and applicable and the general flow of information will be eased;
    • Improved coordination will lead to a more sustainable actions and better use of existing financial resources on national and EU levels;
    • The network will interact with non-European legume science networks, exchanging ideas and best practices.
  2. Economic benefits.
    • The network will include food, feed and non-food industry, extension services, farmers, stake-holders and all other end-users (Smýkal et al. 2010);
    • The network will lobby European decision-makersfor more favourable solutions for legumes, such as an end to the anti-legume weighting of the Common Agricultural Policy, which would allow replacement of at least 50% of imported soybean meal by a 4-fold increase in European grain legume areas;
    • The network will promote legumes as the crops that:
      • symbiotically fix nitrogen and do not require synthetic N fertilizers, resulting in cost savings and reductions in energy inputs, greenhouse gas emission and water pollution;
      • when handled correctly, are competitive with weeds and are highly effective in mixed cropping,particularly of annual legumes either with annual cereals or, at the establishment phase, with perennial forage legumes, resulting in reduced costs and pollution together with higher forage and feed yields;
      • often have allelopathic properties that destroy or suppress parasites such as broomrape, some nematodes and certain pathogenic fungi, allowing a reduction in the use of agrochemicals in integrated systems;
      • and are multi-functional crops providing food, feed, fibre and fuel, with benefits to the following crop, thus enhancing the diversity of farm income streams, farm economic viability, and sustainability, and providing a broader range of raw materials to processing industries.
  3. Social benefits.
    • The network will promote the benefit to the whole system, encompassing ecological and social aspects of legumes as crops that:
    • improve mechanical and chemical soil properties;
    • have beneficial effects by their root exudates upon soil microorganisms;
    • are the best choice to remediate soils contaminated by mines or power plants;
    • reduce cereal crop diseases;
    • renew soil fertility;
    • reduce the negative impacts of agriculture on climate and help mitigate negative climatic changes;
    • enrich agroecosystems and landscapes, contribute to regional biodiversity and support pollinating bee and other useful insect populations;
    • assist in the conservation of the traditional ways of living, improve the viability of rural communities, and renew the interest of younger generations in agricultural production and its benefits;
    • provide the food and feed sector with healthy, safe and rich source of plant protein, the pharmaceutical sector with raw materials and the energy sector with sustainable biofuels;
    • and contribute to the overall health and thus to the good of society.
Scientific Committee
  • Ping Wan
  • Diego Rubiales
  • Noel Ellis
  • Tom Warkentin
  • Paolo Annicchiarico
  • Branko Ćupina
  • Petr Smykal
  • Gerard Duc
  • Bernadette Julier
  • Carlota Vaz Patto
  • Fred Muehlbauer
  • Marina Carbonaro
  • Wojciech Swiecicki
  • Kevin McPhee
  • Marta Santalla
  • Teresa Millan
  • Vuk Đorđević
  • Fathi Hassan
  • Zeki Acar
  • Fred Stoddard
  • Aleksandar Mikić
  • Michael Abberton
Executive Committee
  • Diego Rubiales, president
  • Kevin McPhee, Vice President
  • Aleksandar Mikić, Secretary
  • Marta Santalla, Treasurer
  • Gerard Duc
  • Paolo Annicchiarico
  • Fred Stoddard

First Legume Society Conference, Novi Sad, Serbia, 9-11 May 2013

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Second International Legume Society Conference, Tróia, Portugal, 12-14 October 2016

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Australian Pulse Conference, 12 – 14 September 2016. Tamworth

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Diego Rubiales, president diego.rubiales@ias.csic.es

Kevin McPhee, Vice President kevin.mcphee@ndsu.edu

Aleksandar Mikić, Secretary aleksandar.mikic@nsseme.com