Investments into pulse research and development (R&D) is a key pillar of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ (SPG) overall strategy to grow the pulse industry and make growers more productive and profitable.

Investigating, understanding, making improvements, and finding solutions to major diseases in pulses is key to fostering grower productivity, so SPG has allocated almost half of its budget to R&D, including research into root rot in peas and lentils, chickpea health, foliar diseases, anthracnose, and stemphylium blight. There is research in progress, and newly beginning with results still to come.

Root Rot in Peas & Lentils

SPG has invested a total of $4.6M into addressing each of the pillars of the SPG root rot strategy, including genetic improvement, agronomic solutions, alternative pulse crops, and on-farm tools.

Faba beans, chickpeas, and other alternative pulse crops are important to ensure growers have multiple, viable pulse crop options for their rotations. Research is also being done to understand root rot diseases in these crops.

There are 12 projects and initiatives underway or completed, including projects investigating the impact of cover crops as a bio-fumigant to shorten the amount of time required away from susceptible crops in a rotation, as well as breeding for improved resistance to Aphanomyces root rot, reducing spore load in the soil, and improving testing and detection methods.

Additional Resources

Reducing Root Rot Risk 
Aphanomyces Root Rot in Pulse Crops 
Pulse Agronomy Webinar: Biology of Root Rots 
Aphanomcyes Root Rot in Peas and Lentil 

Chickpea Health

To date, SPG has invested $173,232 towards research, testing, and monitoring initiatives that investigate the chickpea health issue.

So far, there have been 384 chickpea, soil, and root samples, from 49 individual fields, collected and submitted to commercial and research laboratories for analysis as coordinated by SPG.

Five field-scale chickpea monitoring sites were established by SPG during the 2021 season in collaboration with Crop Intelligence and chickpea growers in southern Saskatchewan.

At this time, the cause of the chickpea health issue has not been identified and several factors may be involved. Further research is ongoing to identify potential contributing factors.

Additional Resources

Pulse Agronomy Webinar: Chickpea Emerging Health Issue (Michelle Hubbard)


An investment of $383,951 has been made by SPG, into research aimed at identifying and understanding novel sources of resistance to major lentil diseases – including anthracnose.

SPG initiated annual disease surveys to collect more information on the prevalence and incidence of anthracnose in lentil.

Also, SPG co-leads the Anthracnose Task Force, a collaborative industry initiative dedicated to the identification of strobilurin resistance in lentil and understanding management options.

Additional Resources

Anthracnose in Lentils: Managing Fungicide Insensitivity 
Pulse Agronomy Webinar: Lentil Anthracnose – What You Need to Know (Michelle Hubbard) 

Stemphylium Blight

To date, SPG has invested $383,951 into research aimed at identifying and understanding novel sources of resistance to diseases including stemphylium blight.

SPG has initiated two research demonstration that examine foliar disease and fungicide intervention in faba bean.

  • Faba bean agronomy to enhance yield, hasten maturity, and reduce disease (7 locations)
  • Faba bean fungicide (1 location)

Annual disease surveys were initiated by SPG, to collect more information on the prevalence and incidence of stemphylium blight. Surveys in 2019 and 2020 identified Stemphylium spp. as a foliar pathogen in faba bean.

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