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Chair’s Report (PCN Winter 2015) DEC 22 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Richard Krikke, APG Chair

As I complete my second consecutive term on the APG provincial board, I would like to take the opportunity in my final Chair’s Report to reflect upon the Alberta Pulse Growers’ 25th year and the progress that the industry has made in Alberta.

I’ve been involved with APG almost since we started Zone 3. I was a commissioner-at-large for two years after that but then I backed off because we were so busy on the farm. Now I’ve been a commissioner, or director as we are now known, for the maximum six years.

There have been many advances in the pulse industry since I started growing pulses even before APG was established in 1989. I have also had the opportunity to witness the progress that APG has had a big part in moving forward over the last quarter of a century in the areas of research, extension, and marketing. It is a testament to what can be accomplished when people with a common interest in advancing an industry work together.

We grew our first pea crop on our Neerlandia farm in the late 1970s. They were SS5 and SS7, which were leafed varieties. Lodging was a real issue in those days. I think we grew 40 acres of peas in the first year. They laid flat, we swathed them, and they were rained on. It was kind of a mess, but as time went on we developed new methods. We were growing them for the only buyer of peas in the area at the time. The industry was in its infancy. It was something like where the faba bean industry is right now. There were times when we mixed peas in with barley for hog feed too.

By the mid-1980s, pulses were part of our rotation. It was just beyond the experimental stages then and more buyers were coming into the area. It would have probably been around the year 2000 that we started growing faba beans. We were feeding them to our 150 sows (farrow to finish), and we were selling the rest. We have also grown lentils for two years.

We have some better varieties and herbicides available now. The equipment has really changed too, which has made a huge difference. It’s easy now to get information on growing peas and other pulses too.

I will continue to be involved in this exciting industry as a producer and in other ways as we address the challenges ahead and welcome new crops that are gaining traction in Alberta.

Annual General Meeting

At the APG Annual General Meeting on January 28, 2015, a new APG chair will be selected from the fine men and women on the provincial board. The term limit of serving two consecutive three-year terms is in place to ensure that new people are given the opportunity to share their ideas and enthusiasm for Alberta’s pulse industry. We are fortunate to have many thoughtful and enthusiastic folks working for the betterment of the industry, both on the provincial board and in each of the five zones.

I am excited to learn which of the many Albertans nominated for the first Alberta Pulse Industry Innovator Award will be selected as the winner at the AGM. I know it was a tough decision to choose just one recipient, but we are committed to naming a recipient on an annual basis so that we can continue recognizing industry innovators.

I am also looking forward to learning the results of the producer survey that was sent to APG members via mail and could be completed online or on paper. APG asked many questions that will help guide the organization moving forward and give us a good handle on what Alberta pulse growers expect from their provincial body after 25 years.

Voting for board representatives, sharing ideas and networking are just a few of the many reasons to attend the AGM, which will take place during FarmTech 2015 in Edmonton. Please see inside back cover for AGM details.