The Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) and the University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) Crop Development Cent re (CDC) would like to announce the beginning of the second term in their Pulse Breeding Agreement with SPG investing $9.2 million into the Pulse Breeding Program at the CDC over the next five years.
SPG’s investment in the Pulse Breeding Program at the CDC allows SPG to have exclusive global distribution rights to all pulse varieties generated at the CDC, while providing the CDC breeding program with a level of stability going into the future. “The overarching goal of the agreement is to generate superior pulse crop varieties for Saskatchewan producers through the development of new varieties and the improvement of existing varieties,” notes Murray Purcell, chair of the SPG board. “SPG’s vision is for Saskatchewan to be a world leader in the pulse industry. The renewal of this agreement for research funding is a step towards achieving that through research and development in the genetic improvement of plant agronomics, quality market traits, and disease resistance.”
SPG believes that the Pulse Breeding Agreement is SPG’s largest and most important investment. The first five-year term in the 15-year agreement was completed in September of 2010, with a budget of $6.34 million. Purcell believes the increase in budget to $9.2 million for the second term showcases the excellent partnership that has developed between the organizations and the potential for even more collaborations in the future.
As of 2010, 81 new royalty-free pulse varieties have been introduced and become available to growers under the Pulse Breeding Agreement, 25 of which are pea varieties, 34 are lentil varieties, 17 are chickpea varieties and five are bean varieties.