Enhancing the Long-Term Sustainability of Pulse Cultivation Using System Approaches
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Root Rots
- Soil Health
Dr. Kui Liu
Lead Investigator(s) Institution
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
To investigate the major factors influencing root rot complex on pulse crops. To discover antagonists (anti-fungal organisms) in Saskatchewan soil that help pulse plants combat root rot pathogens. To optimize crop rotation systems for dry and humid ecoregions of Western Canada using system approaches. To enhance soil carbon and nitrogen (N) dynamics in different cropping systems. To minimize harvest loss in pulses through improved agronomic practices. To decrease the carbon footprints of agroecosystems with improved farming strategies. To enhance whole farm economic outcomes by improving input efficiency and increasing productivity.
Root rot complex was surveyed across Saskatchewan and it was found that rotations with three pulse phases had higher host-specific pathogen pressure compared to rotations with one pulse phase. Averaged across the 8-year crop rotation period, pea resulted in greater yield benefits than chickpea for pulse-wheat rotations. However, the high frequency of pea in rotations caused high disease incidence in pea. Different types of pulse crops had similar effects on soil available N, but rotations including chickpea had the largest effect on soil micro- and meso-aggregate stability among tested pulse crops. Rolling land before seeding and keeping 15cm crop stubble could reduce lentil yield loss during harvesting. Environmentally, pea resulted in smaller N2O emissions than chickpea and lentil, and pulse frequency in rotations had a larger effect on N2O emissions than CO2 emissions. A sustainability index (SI) was developed using multiple variables highly correlated to yields. Overall, the benefits of pulse-based rotations largely depend on crop diversification and the frequency of pulse phases in rotations. A diversified cropping system with pulse crops can increase production, enhance resource use efficiency, improve profitability, reduce environmental impacts, and stabilize cropping system performance in a changing environment.
Duration/Timeline of Project (Year to Year)
2016 - 2021
Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund
Total Project Cost