Pulse Varieties Made For The Prairies

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers released seven new lentil varieties and one new pea variety this spring through its Variety Release Program. That brings to 68 the number of new varieties introduced since the program’s inception in 1997.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ (SPG) largest research investment is the $21 million, 15-year pulse breeding agreement with the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC). The pulse breeding program agreement, which commenced in 1997 and was renewed for 15 years in 2005, is a collaborative research agreement between SPG and the CDC to develop new and/or improved varieties of pulse crops.

New varieties are made available to Saskatchewan producers on a royalty-free basis. These new pulse crop varieties are commercialized through SPG’s Variety Release Program. High-quality breeder seed is made available to Select status seed growers in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The Breeding program also integrates pulse pathology research and seed quality assessment into crop genetic improvement. The CDC is renowned for its excellence in breeding and employs top Pulse breeders.

According to a survey conducted by SPG in February 2008, Saskatchewan pulse producers believe that the breeding program with the CDC is SPG’s most value check-off investment and it should continue to be a top priority.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers represents 18,000 pulse producers and collects a mandatory, non-refundable check-off of 1.0 per cent from the gross value of sale that is deducted at the first point of sale or distribution of a pulse crop.

Thanks to Amanda Olekson, communications manager with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, for sending this in. Grainews will run this new “Your checkoff at work” feature in every issue. If your organization wants to take part, please phone or email Jay Whetter using the contact information on page 2.

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