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Taking the Provincial Pulse (PCN Spring 2014) MAY 5 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.

This winter Alberta Pulse Grower staff has been making the rounds at tradeshows and conferences to put a finger on the ‘pulse’ of the industry. The issues facing the pulse industry have been evolving over the last number of years but we heard some of the same topics province wide. Standability of peas, potential for soybeans and marketing faba beans are all at the front of pulse producer’s minds.

We also heard from growers collectively across Alberta about the unique and often frustrating challenges with movement of grain this year. Coming into the spring with extra crop in the bin and uncertainty around commodity prices has prompted farmers to look at altering their rotations. Despite some reports of potentially more canola and less wheat around the province, APG has had many inquiries from farmers who are increasingly interested in growing pulses this year.

Ag Expo- Lethbridge

Ag Expo offered producers a chance to check out specialized crop and livestock equipment, as well as attend various sessions. Producer information sessions included topics such as faba beans, soybeans and general market outlooks. APG got plenty of questions surrounding these ‘up and coming’ pulse crops and what new varieties are available for lentils and peas. The show was well attended and it was valuable to hear growers concerns from southern Alberta.

Faba beans and soybeans were the hot crop topics but there were some growers expressing interest in trying pulses for the first time. They were looking for information on peas as an alternative in their rotation. Pricing opportunities were the main consideration for these producers who were considering growing pulse crops.

Peace Country Classic- Grande Prairie

At the 29th Peace Country Classic Agri-Show in Grande Prairie, producers also showed great interest in soybeans and Faba beans. Others who hadn’t grown pulses in the past were interested in what could be grown in their area and frost tolerance of various pulses and varieties. In general, Peace Country growers are very concerned with marketing options and movement of their grain because of their location. A number of northern growers asked about forage varieties for cattle and pulse mixes for silage. We even fielded a few questions about cooking pulses and genetic modification.

Despite the variety of questions and comments we got from all over Alberta, there was an underlying theme. Producers always want to hear about anything new and how it can improve their business. There seems to be some “thinking outside the box” for crop rotations in 2014 that will provide alternative marketing opportunities and risk management for the farm. However, we will have to wait until the crop is in the ground to know the final decision.

For more information on pulse extension or production please contact Sydney Vos, Member Relations Coordinator