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It's the start of a new era in pulse crop development

A new pulse breeding agreement has been reached between the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) and Limagrain Field Seeds.

SPG's Executive Director is Carl Potts says it's the start of a new era and a new model in pulse crop development.

"For many years, we have been supporting pulse Breeding Research at the University of Saskatchewan, with one really large partner being the University. Now, we're moving to a new model where we expect to be having collaborations and making breeding investments with multiple partners and Limagrain is the first one in that new model."

The new breeding program will be based in Saskatchewan and will primarily focus on new pea and lentil varieties.

Shaun Dyrland, Chair of SPG Board of Directors says they are excited for this new direction in pulse breeding for farmers in Saskatchewan. 

"It is important to continue fostering innovation and competition in pulse breeding and to bring new perspectives to challenging on-farm issues like root rots and herbicide resistance. We believe this new collaboration with Limagrain on pulse breeding will allow for targeting grower priorities and ensuring that growers’ direction and voices are at the table helping to drive new varieties."

The new collaboration has SPG and Limagrain sharing in upfront investments, with future royalties from the sale of new varieties to be shared. 

SPG will provide input on breeding priorities and ensure that farmers’ voices, needs, priorities, and challenges are driving the goals of the program every step of the way.

The new Limagrain Field Seeds breeding, and research program will be based in Saskatoon, where a dedicated pulse breeding team will be created.

The overall goal will be the development of new higher performing varieties to meet producer and customer needs while finding ways to shorten the breeding cycle and accelerate seed production.

Régis Fournier, CEO of Limagrain Field Seeds says Limagrain is very committed to producing plant-based proteins. 

"Saskatchewan is at the heart of global pulse production, so it makes perfect sense for Limagrain Field Seeds to extend its existing Cereal breeding research in Saskatoon, and to now include these two pulse crops reinforcing our commitment to Saskatchewan."

Potts see the partnership with Limagrain as being the first of several new pulse breeding collaborations for SPG.

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