Moving forward to sustainable development of the Saskatchewan pulse industry

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Crop Rotation
  • Soil Health
  • Sustainability
  • Variety Development

Lead Investigator(s)

Dr. Yantai Gan, Dr. Jeff Stewart

Lead Investigator(s) Institution

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


To evaluate pulse germplasms and varieties, including pea, lentil, and chickpea, for their yields and key agronomic traits for the Crop Development Centre (CDC) pulse breeding program. To determine the effect of crop sequences and pulse intensification on soil microbial community and biodiversity. To determine key factors causing field pea yield declining in southwest Saskatchewan: pulse sequences/frequencies on pathogenicity. To quantify the carbon footprint of various pulse crops and various pulse-based cropping systems on the semiarid Canadian prairie.


Results showed that across three cycles of the experimentation, field pea and lentil as previous crops or intensified field pea and lentil rotations with wheat had the highest soil water in the 60-90 cm layer. Field pea and lentil previous crops and intensified rotations had the highest total nitrogen (N) at 30-60 cm and 60-90 cm soil depths, and wheat previous crops and wheat-based rotations had the lowest. Grain yield of wheat preceded by field pea and lentil increased by 26% and 18%, respectively, compared with wheat preceded by wheat. Field pea and lentil intensified rotations had a significantly greater yield over continuous wheat or rotations that included one pulse crop in wheat-based systems. Soil dehydrogenase activity revealed that soil microbial activity was significantly improved in rotations with two pulses every four years compared to continuous wheat or rotations with one pulse every four years. The inclusion of pulses into rotations promoted higher soil microbial activity.

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SPG Contribution


Project Status


Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)

2011 - 2016