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Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Makes $5 Million Investment in Priority Research Areas

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has invested over $5 million into pulse research projects to improve productivity and reduce threats to pulse crop production. 

Under the recently announced Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) AgriScience Program Clusters Component, SPG will leverage grower levy dollar investment with over $21 million of Government and other industry partner funding for the Pulse Cluster. 

A complete list of projects, including researchers, and SPG’s investment can be seen below. 

  • Selection of Early Maturing Dry Bean Germplasm and Cultivars for Sustainability and Improved Productivity Under Irrigation, Dr. Parthiba Balasubramanian, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – $50,417  
  • Breed for Top-Performing Field Pea Varieties and Develop SNP-based Markers for Marker-Assisted Selection for Grain and Protein Yield Maturity, Standability, and Seed Size, Dr. Dengjin Bing, AAFC – $166,000 
  • Large Root Systems in Pulses for Drought Tolerance, Carbon Sequestration, and Root Rot Resistance, Dr. Maryse Bourgault, University of Saskatchewan – $337,321 
  • Accelerating Solutions to Root Rot of Pea and Lentil Using a Multifaceted and Integrative Approach, Dr. Syama Chatterton, AAFC – $563,100 
  • Diversity Set for Genomic Improvement of Faba, Dr. Nicholas Larkan, Saskatoon Research and Development Centre – $144,198 
  • Identifying Potential Resistance to Pea Aphids and Aphid Transmitted Viruses in Lentil, Dr. Sean Prager, University of Saskatchewan – $333,407 
  • Phenotyping Pulse Crops for Improved Performance Under Climate Change, Dr. Steve Shirtliffe, University of Saskatchewan – $675,605 
  • An Integrated Approach for Accelerating Genetic Improvement of Yield and Agronomic Characteristics of Chickpea, Dr. Bunyamin Tar’an, University of Saskatchewan – $1,486,050 
  • Development of Improved Pea Cultivars to Enhance Canada’s Leading Role in International Pea Markets, Dr. Tom Warkentin, University of Saskatchewan, $1,182,643 

“SPG would like to recognize Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their continued investment into pulse research,” says Winston van Staveren, SPG Board Chair and Creelman-area pulse farmer. “By leveraging Saskatchewan grower levy dollars with government and industry partner funding through the Sustainable CAP AgriScience Program, we can ensure that our investments into research go further to addressing the production and market challenges facing our industry.”  

“Canadian pulse farmers are vitally important to our economy,” says the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will bring together the top experts in pulse growing and research from across the Prairies to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector for generations to come.” 

Funding contributors on the Pulse Cluster include Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, and Ontario Bean Growers. Industry and other funding partners include Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Bayer CropScience Inc., BASF Canada, FMC of Canada Limited, Syngenta Canada Inc., Producteurs de Grains du Quebec (PGQ), Les Grain Haribec and SeCan. 

Projects funded under the Pulse Cluster are seeking to make advancements in critical areas for the pulse industry, including breeding peas for improved protein yield maturity, standability, and seed size; breeding dry beans for early maturation, sustainability, and improved productivity under irrigation; resistance to root rot; genomic improvements for faba bean; aphid resistance in peas; improving pulse crops under climate change; and genetic improvements for chickpeas regarding yield and agronomic characteristics. 

“Research that will increase on-farm productivity and reduce agronomic challenges is a top priority for SPG,” says van Staveren. “We are targeting our research investments into projects that will create improved pulse crops and management practices for producers as we face challenges such as climate change and increased disease pressure.” 

The total value of research included under the five-year Pulse Cluster is over $21 million, with $11 million coming from AAFC and $10.1 million from other funders. 

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