Learn about the strategy behind SPG's Research & Development department.
As Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) sets focus on the next decade of investment, organizational strategy remains focused on five key result areas (KRAs) including:
- Unlocking yield potential of established pulse crops
- Impacting demand for pulse crops through expanded use
- Evolving through the development of new pulse crop options
- Reaching further through expanded market access
- Connecting by increasing SPG’s engagement with growers
Investment into pulse research, development, and breeding has provided Saskatchewan growers with new opportunities to increase their productivity and profitability. Research and development (R&D) is a key pillar of SPG’s overall strategy and levy dollar investment. The refreshed pulse R&D strategy is focused on delivering solutions to growers’ biggest production barriers. SPG has divided research goals into short- and long-term goals. The short-term goals (to 2025) are:
- Reaching average lentil yields of 1,620 pounds per acre
- Reaching average pea yields of 43 bushels per acre
- 1.8 million acres of new and minor pulse crops being grown in Saskatchewan
These short-term goals help realize the yield potential of existing pulse crops such as peas and lentils, by making variety recommendations for specific regions of Saskatchewan. These goals will also be met through research and demonstration work focused on weed, disease, and insect pressures that pulse crops face, fertility recommendations to maximize production, and best agronomic practices for pulse production (such as seeding rates, harvest timing, etc.). Investment into new and minor pulse crops will help increase acres of faba beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and dry beans in the province. These minor pulse crops offer producers additional options to include in crop rotations, to break disease cycles and maintain long-term rotation sustainability.
SPG’s long-term (to 2030) R&D goals are:
- Mitigation of root rot in peas and lentils
- Additional herbicide tolerances for lentils
- A pulse quality program that recommends production practices to influence end use quality
Mitigation of root rot in peas and lentils will be achieved through a multifaceted approach that includes genetic resistance to Aphanomyces and other root pathogens, agronomic practice recommendations, chemical and biological crop protection products, and tools to identify and measure the risk of disease. Additional herbicide tolerances in lentils will help to combat herbicide resistant weeds and provide growers new options to continue the sustainable production of this important crop. The pulse quality program will begin by benchmarking the quality of pulses in Saskatchewan by variety and location and, over time, will include the influence of production management practices on quality to provide a quality-focused set of best management practices for growers and buyers.
Together these short-term and long-term goals will help guide not only the day-to-day projects that SPG engages in, but will also drive future research investment in ways that will create management practices for the larger challenges pulse production faces. This ensures the long-term sustainability and viability of pulse production in Saskatchewan and Canada.