Lentil Industrial Research Chair Funding Renewed
March 10, 2015
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has renewed funding for the Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Genetic Improvement of Lentils.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is pleased to announce its renewal of funding for the Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Genetic Improvement of Lentils, a position held by Dr. Bert Vandenberg, Pulse Crop Breeder at the University of Saskatchewan’s Plant Sciences Department.
The position, co-funded with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), is made possible due to a $3.5 million funding commitment from SPG and a $2.8 million funding commitment from NSERC, both over five years.
“Lentil is an extremely important crop for Saskatchewan,” says Carl Potts, Executive Director of SPG. “Dr. Vandenberg’s contributions to the growth of the industry have been, and will continue to be of tremendous value. The funding provided as part of the IRC will allow for impactful research in top-of-mind areas for Saskatchewan lentil growers such as disease issues, genetic advancements, and root and soil interactions.”
The grower funding is a vital piece for the CDC lentil-breeding program explains Kofi Agblor, Managing Director for the CDC. “Being able to leverage grower dollars provided by SPG with federal funding through NSERC allows the CDC to place a significant focus on the issues that are impacting growers on the farm today as well as the ability to look ahead to what production research needs may be in the future.”
“Genetic improvement in pulse crops is essential to increasing the profitability of pulse growers in the province,” says Tim Wiens, Chair of SPG’s Board of Directors. “This investment is a step towards ensuring that the best lentil varieties continue to be in the hands of Saskatchewan’s growers.”
With over 7,500 lentil growers in the province planting 2.4 – 3.2 million acres of lentils each year over the past 6 years, SPG is confident that its investments will bring tremendous value to lentil growers. “We look forward to the next five years of this IRC position and its direct linkage to SPG’s pulse breeding agreement with the CDC pulse breeding program,” says Potts.