Pulse breeders at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC) are constantly working on developing new varieties with improved yield, disease and weed resistance and tolerance, and other desirable attributes.
They are also constantly working on getting these new varieties tested and into the hands of Saskatchewan growers as soon as they are ready.
And as a result of this work, there are currently several noteworthy varieties that are expected to be available to growers in coming years through the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Variety Release Program. Here are a few names to watch out for.
CDC Impulse and CDC Proclaim, both released to Select Seed growers in 2014, are varieties that lentil growers should watch for, says Sherrilyn Phelps, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ agronomy and seed program manager.
CDC Proclaim is similar to the benchmark CDC Maxim, which is currently the most widely grown red lentil variety in Saskatchewan, while CDC Impulse is 10 per cent larger than CDC Maxim. Both CDC Proclaim and CDC Impulse have good disease resistance, early-to-medium maturity, and are Clearfield varieties.
Another one to watch for is CDC Redmoon, according to Phelps. Although it will not be available to growers for another couple years, having been released through the variety release program in 2015, this variety is also similar to CDC Maxim and early testing shows very high yields, although not a Clearfield variety.
CDC Roxy, an extra small red released in 2014, might also be of interest to lentil growers. Although it is not a Clearfield variety, it is plumper than most extra small reds and has good lodging tolerance.
A new French green lentil variety, CDC Marble, is also on the horizon. Released in 2013, it has a slightly lighter colour than other French greens but has improved lodging tolerance and a good disease package and yield, although also not a Clearfield variety.
CDC Kermit, a small green variety released in 2014, is noteworthy for its similarity to CDC Viceroy and CDC Imvincible, the two most widely-grown small green varieties in Saskatchewan last year. Although not a Clearfield variety, CDC Kermit has good yield potential and good lodging tolerance.
The most recent large green variety, CDC Greenstar, was released in 2013 and is attracting attention for being the largest seed size in its class and its high yield potential. It is also Clearfield variety and between CDC Greenland and CDC Plato for colour.
According to CDC Plant Breeder Tom Warkentin, a yellow pea to watch for is CDC Inca. First released in 2015, seed likely will not be available to growers for another couple years, but the new variety has a strong yield potential for southern Saskatchewan.
“Based on data available so far, it has a seven per cent yield advantage over CDC Amarillo in the south,” Warkentin says.
In terms of green peas, CDC Greenwater is the one to keep an eye on. First released in 2014, it is already showing strong potential for yield with a 21 per cent yield advantage over CDC Striker (currently the most widely grown green pea variety in Saskatchewan) in the south, and a 13 per cent yield advantage in the north.
Although not new, CDC Raezer and CDC Limerick are both up-and-coming varieties, gaining substantial acres in Saskatchewan. Released in 2011 and 2012, respectively, they both provide greater yield than CDC Striker.
There will not be any new chickpea varieties released next year, but CDC Plant Breeder Bunyamin Tar’an and his team are busy preparing new varieties for potential release in 2018, all of which will be imidazolinone herbicide tolerant (IMI-tolerant).
Of the current varieties there are a few that are standing out, Tar’an says. The most popular ones are CDC Orion, released in 2010, and CDC Leader, released in 2011. The next most popular is CDC Palmer, which was released in 2014.
“All these new Kabuli chickpeas are well adapted to Saskatchewan conditions, and CDC Leader in particular is relatively early maturing compared to the other medium-large Kabulis,” Tar’an says.
Phelps adds that CDC Palmer has a lot of characteristics that appeal to growers.
“It has a large seed size and is similar to CDC Orion, which is what growers are tending to look for,” she says. CDC Palmer also has yield similar to Orion and a medium-to-late maturity, while Orion has a later maturity.
The most recent fababean variety released was CDC Snowdrop in 2012. This was the first small seeded, low-tannin fababean released from the CDC breeding program and has been growing in acreage in Saskatchewan in the last couple of years.
For more information on all CDC developed varieties, visit the Growing section of saskpulse.com.
This article originally ran in the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ magazine “PulsePoint.” You can find back issues of PulsePoint online at saskpulse.com.