Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) is investing in programs that support sustainable growth of pulse production in Saskatchewan. The organization has established short- and long-term research strategies to help continued growth for pulse production over the next 10 years focused on two main goals:
Goal #1: Increase profitability of established crops.
More specifically, SPG has set goals to boost profitability through average lentil yields of 1,620 pounds per acre and average pea yields of 43 bushels per acre by 2025.
Goal #2: Continued expansion of minor pulse crop acres.
SPG has quantified this goal by addressing barriers in pulse production so that at least one viable pulse crop is available for every acre of arable land in Saskatchewan. That means 1.8 million acres of new and minor pulses such as faba beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and dry beans in Saskatchewan by 2025.
To help reach these goals, SPG is investing in specific field research, variety trials, and testing to respond to production challenges. Over the next five years, short-term strategies include:
- Using the Right Genetics in the Right Place: SPG will conduct variety trials for all pulse crops in all regions of Saskatchewan and share this data directly with growers to make region-specific variety recommendations.
- Integrated Pest Management: researchers will be conducting product tests and rotational studies with a focus on weeds and diseases in an effort to protect yields in peas and lentils.
- Fertility Management: further tests and promotion of fertility best practices to maximize yields and improve plant health.
- Agronomic Practices: communicating best practices will help growers maximize yields, combat disease, and ensure market access through recommendations on seeding rates, rotations, and harvest timing.
Long-term research investments will inform SPG’s direction forward toward 2030. The long-term strategies are focused on tackling some of the biggest barriers and opportunities to future pulse production, including:
- Mitigating root rots in peas and lentils through genetic improvement to create root rot resistant varieties, developing crop rotation options to break disease cycles, and testing and recommending fertility and crop protection options and support root rot management.
- Developing new herbicide tolerance in lentils. Weeds with Group 2 herbicide resistance are currently a challenge for growers. SPG is investing in new herbicide tolerance platforms to help growers combat weeds in pulses.
- Developing best management practices to increase quality in pulses. SPG will expand Saskatchewan’s market share for peas and lentils by creating a pulse quality program that measures attributes beyond grade and relates them back to on-farm management practices.
The future is bright for pulse production in Saskatchewan. SPG looks forward to supporting the success and innovation of the Saskatchewan pulse industry.
Published November 2020