Growing Pulses

Lentils

Green and red lentils are the the most widely grown lentil classes in Saskatchewan. More limited production of speciality varieties such as black Beluga, French green, and Spanish brown lentils are also produced. Lentils are primarily grown for human consumption.

Seeding

Lentils are well suited to direct seeding cropping systems. Lentil seedlings tend to be vigorous and can emerge through crop residue and grow from greater depths, versus some crops traditionally grown in Saskatchewan.

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Field Management

Weeds, diseases, and insects have the ability to severly impact lentil yields and quality. Management of these requires a long-term strategy involving the entire crop rotation. 

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Harvest

Lentils are considered mature when the bottom third of the pods turn yellow to brown and rattle when shaken. This is the stage recommended for swathing, desiccation, or pre-harvest herbicide application.

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Peas

Yellow and green cotyledon peas are the most widely grown pea classes in Saskatchewan. They are typically grown for human consumption and livestock feed markets.

Seeding

Peas are a cool season crop, typically grown and adapted for cool temperate zones such as Western Canada. 

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Field Management

Pea crops are subject to a number of weeds, diseases, and insects that can reduce yield and quality. All of these pests can be minimized through an integrated and preventative management approach.

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Harvest

Pea plants mature from the bottom to the top, and are near maturity when the bottom 30 per cent of pods are ripe, the middle 40 per cent of pods and vines are yellow-coloured, and the upper 30 per cent of pods are turning yellow. 

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Soybeans

Soybeans are adapted to a wide range of soil types in southeastern Saskatchewan where they receive the warm weather they need. Soybeans have become a dominant crop in world oilseed trade and are used for both human consumption and livestock feed markets.

Seeding

Soybeans are a legume plant with a branched tap root and are sensitive to day length in their growth and reproduction, requiring sufficient heat and moisture to perform well. 

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Field Management

Soybeans are susceptible to a number diseases, weeds, and especially insects that can significantly affect soybean yield and quality. Crops should be scouted throughout the growing season to monitor for damage, and control measures only taken if economic thresholds are reached.

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Harvest

Soybeans begin to mature as defoliation begins. Leaves begin to dry down and fall off the main stem, while pods turn brown and the seeds will rattle when fully mature.

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Chickpeas

Desi and Kabuli chickpeas are the two market classes produced in Saskatchewan. Desi types have smaller, angular seeds with yellow to brown seed coats. Kabuli types have a rounded seed with a cream-coloured coat. Chickpeas are grown for human consumption.

Seeding

Chickpeas fit well into a direct seeding crop system under both minimum and no-till soil management. Chickpeas prefer well-drained land or soil with lighter texture.

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Field Management

Disease and weeds can significantly affect the yield and quality of chickpeas, moreso than insects. It is important to have an long-term strategy in place, and be aware of control options available, to mitigate these issues. 

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Harvest

Chickpeas are considered ready to harvest when the majority of the plants are yellow and most pods are mature. At this stage, the top of the plant may still be green.

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Faba Beans

There are two types of faba beans grown in Western Canada: tannin and low-or near zero-tannin types. Large-seeded tannin types are suited for human consumption markets, with Egypt being the main importing country. The smaller low-tannin types are used mainly for livestock feed domestically.

Seeding

To maximize the benefits of faba beans in your rotation, choose fields that have low nitrogen levels. Fallow fields, or fields with failed crops from the previous season, may have higher levels of available nitrogen.

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Field Management

There are a number of pests that can affect the yield and quality of faba beans. Field scouting and an integrated pest management plan can help control weeds, diseases, and insects in your faba bean crop.

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Harvest

Faba beans mature in 110 to 130 days depending on moisture conditions. As the crop matures, the lower leaves darken and drop, the bottom pods turn black and dry from the bottom to the top of the plant.

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Dry Beans

Pinto beans are the most widely grown bean class in Saskatchewan, followed by more limited production of navy, black, and small red beans. Dry beans are primarily grown for human consumption in North America and the United Kingdom.

Seeding

Dry beans are a dicot crop with epigeal emergence, meaning that after germination, the cotyledons and the growing point push up above-ground.

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Field Management

Dry beans are not competitive against weeds and are susceptible to many different diseases and insects. Good management practices can help mitigate risks from pests in your dry bean crop.

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Harvest

Several different techniques are used to harvest dry beans focused on reducing seed damage and losses. Quality is very important, and seed coat colour and viability must be high for seeds headed to the edible market. 

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