As we watch winter melt away into spring, we think of the seeds that growers will soon be putting in the ground, with the promise of a bountiful harvest in the fall.
For pulses, we know that variety development has been an important contributor to growth of the sector over the past 30 years and we are just as excited about the next 30 years.
The landscape for pulse breeding and variety development is changing. At our annual general meeting and grower meetings this winter, we have been talking with growers about what those changes mean for SPG breeding investments, how growers will access and pay for new pulse crop varieties, and how they will still be able to continue to grow existing royalty-free varieties. The previous model of large grower investments with a single public breeding organization and royalty-free access to varieties was no longer available to us for the future. The future will involve multiple breeding organizations developing new varieties and bringing those to market. The organizations that develop varieties that growers choose to grow will earn revenue, through royalties, to be invested back into breeding for the future. In the end, growers will have more choice in varieties and will continue to have the choice to grow existing royalty-free varieties or to switch to new ones.
SPG expects to have investments with multiple breeding organizations in this new environment. We announced a new collaboration with Limagrain in July 2022 for pea and lentil breeding and we expect to have additional collaborations with other breeding organizations in the future, including with the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC).
We are excited about what the future holds for new varieties in Saskatchewan. Check out some of the resources on our website that outline this new model, new partnerships, and stay tuned for additional SPG breeding investments and partnerships to come.
– Carl Potts, Executive Director
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers