Highlights from CropSphere and Winter Regional Pulse Meetings - PulsePoint
April 16, 2019
Root rots and kochia, pulse market outlooks and bugs, a recap of the top sessions at both events
Recapping a busy winter of grower meetings, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has gathered some highlights from CropSphere and Winter Regional Pulse Meetings:
Protecting Global Markets: The Importance of Keep it Clean!
Canadian pulses, canola, and cereals have a reputation of quality around the world. During this CropSphere presentation, members from Cereals Canada, Pulse Canada, and the Canola Council of Canada discussed how shipments of Canadian product are increasingly under scrutiny residues, which is why it is important for growers to ensure they use crop-protection products that comply with maximum residue limits that have been set. The most important messaging for pulse growers during this session was to ensure that glyphosate is only used according to the product label for pre-harvest weed control, and that when spraying lentil crops with glyphosate prior to harvest, to do so only when seed is at 30 per cent moisture or less, so that the marketability of your lentils is not impacted.
Root Rots and Kochia: Are We Closer to Solving These Issues?
Two of the biggest challenges facing pulse crops are root rots (including Fusarium and Aphanomyces), and kochia. In her CropSphere presentation, Sherrilyn Phelps, Agronomy Manager with SPG looked at the agronomy behind root rots and kochia, including the conditions they both need to grow and thrive, how they spread, the economic implications they can have on pulse crop yields, and what steps growers can take to mitigate the spread of both in their pulse crops. In order to get the best control of kochia, Phelps encouraged growers to do a proper pre-seed burnoff of their field including tank-mixes with glyphosate, increasing the competition of the crop, and then control the patches of kochia later in the season to eliminate seed sources for future years. In terms of control and management of root rots in pulses,
Phelps recommends keeping peas and/or lentils out of your crop rotation for six to eight years, to help deplete the oospore population in soil, and do everything you can to increase the health of the crop early in the season.
Pulse Market Access & Market Diversification
Even before India imposed pulse import barriers through fumigation requirements, high tariffs on lentils, peas, and chickpeas, and placing quantitative restrictions on pea imports to their country, the Canadian pulse industry has been trying to grow beyond their largest export market and find new demand for domestic pulse production. During his CropSphere presentation Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon discussed market access issues with India, and the heightened emphasis the pulse industry has placed on their focus to diversify markets for pulses, including more domestic demand in the areas of ingredient usage, pet food, aquaculture, feed, and large-scale volume foodservice. The pulse industry has set a target of 25 per cent of domestic pulse production going into new use areas by the year 2025. By capitalizing on the growing consumer trend for the demand of plant-based foods, this new diversification strategy should be the equivalent of creating demand for two million tonnes of domestic pulse production. As an example, China has been increasing their pea imports as the Chinese food industry has been using pea fractions (protein, starch, fibre, and flour) in foods such as vermicelli, steam buns, and baked goods like cookies to increase the health quality of those foods.
If you were unable to catch any of these presentations, they are available on the CropSphere website at cropsphere.com/2019-speakers-presentations.
Winter Regional Pulse Meetings
Pulse Crop Breeding
Pulse varieties developed at the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), are always a popular topic at Regional Pulse Meetings. Dr. Tom Warkentin, Plant Breeder and Professor with the CDC shared the latest data on all pulse crops based on the 2018 Regional Variety Trials. He noted that there are some high yielding yellow and green pea varieties that will be available to growers soon (CDC Spectrum, CDC Lewochko, CDC Spruce, and CDC Forest), as well as chickpea varieties that have tolerance to imazamox herbicides (CDC Alma and CDC Cory). He also spoke to the objectives of the breeding programs for each pulse crop, touching on the work they are doing to increase yields and find early maturing soybean varieties for Saskatchewan, develop lentil and pea
varieties with resistance to Aphanomyces root rot, and enhance the nutritional qualities of some pulses so they can be increasingly used in consumer products.
Pulse Insects of Concern
Insects, both beneficial and invasive, live in and on crops. Dr. James Tansey, Provincial Specialist in insect/vertebrate pest management with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture addressed what invasive insects look like, how to scout for them in pulse crops, and what current control methods growers have available. Pea leaf weevil has been an increasing pulse problem pest, and according to Dr. Tansey there are a number of ways to look for them in your crop including scouting at the three to six node stage (late May to mid-June), and looking for notches in leaves and/or damage to clam leaves. In order to control pea leaf weevil he suggests using crop rotation, seed inoculation, seed treatments, insecticides, and using other beneficial insects within your crop such as wolf spiders and ground beetles that eat eggs and adult weevils, to help keep weevil populations in check in your crop.
All Regional Pulse Meeting speaker presentations are available on the saskpulse.com website under the News tab. If you are looking for more information, the root rot and kochia presentation, as well as the pulse variety update and the pulse market overview were recorded and can be viewed at youtube.com/user/SKPulse.