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Executive Director’s Message (PCN Winter 2015) DEC 22 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

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

Leanne Fischbuch, Executive Director

Regional meetings have been the focus for the directors, advisors and staff of Alberta Pulse Growers for the past few months. The organization has to hold regional meetings each year and the APG zones try to spread meetings to various parts of each region as best they can to accommodate producer travel and meeting options. This year, there was reasonably good representation at all of the zone meetings. Weather provided some challenges, but for the most part producers came to hear about interesting pulse topics and learn of the organization’s plans as we move into the 2014-15 crop year.

APG Zone 1 and Zone 2 held very successful meetings on their own in both Taber and Lacombe respectively. As in previous years, some of our zones chose to partner with other commissions to host joint meetings. Zone 5 partnered with the Alberta Barley Commission in St. Paul, and APG partnered for the first time with the Alberta Wheat Commission at the Zone 3 meeting in Westlock. All three organizations came together to host a three-commission meeting in Grande Prairie (APG Zone 4). Partnering takes work and coordination, but for growers – our meeting participants – APG has received feedback that it is an excellent use of grower time to hear information on multiple crops all at once, and producer engagement is critical for our organization.

With the winter snow on the ground and harvest completed, it is time to begin to reflect on the year. This fall provided an interesting time for pulse producers. While most early pulses like peas and lentils were harvested in August and early September, challenges were seen in some areas with the later harvested pulses such as faba beans and dry beans.

Weather will always be a wild card, but growers need to be prepared for those circumstances. From snow to frost in many areas, this played havoc with the quality of the later maturing crops. Many producers grew faba beans this year, and understanding the crop management and being prepared with a marketing plan for the crop was critical. Growers can visit the APG Dealer List to see which dealers market faba beans and discuss options for frost damaged fabas as it would be best advised to try to move product sooner versus later.

In preparation for next year, APG is including information for growers in this edition of PCN on the 2014 Regional Variety Trials. This information will help growers review the performance of new varieties of pulse crops, and it is a valuable tool for making good management choices. APG will be participating once again with the Prairie Recommending Committee of Pulse and Special Crops where APG votes with other industry participants on registration of new varieties, and also helps to provide a voice for the Alberta Pulse Growers on the development of policy pertaining to the variety recommendation process.

APG is pleased to offer two new management tools for growers this winter. In this edition, we are including a section covering an emerging issue in pulse crops across Canada. Root rot showed up in many parts of Alberta this past year, in addition to the first documentation of Aphanomyces being confirmed in the province. In partnership with other provincial pulse organizations, we are pleased to provide to you Root Rot in Pea and Lentil in Western Canada in the centre of this magazine. APG will also be featuring a speaker session at FarmTech with Dr. Syama Chatterton and Dr. Michael Harding discussing pulse root rots in January.

APG is pleased to soon launch the Pulse Online Database (Pulse POD). This is an online and mobile tool for questions about pulse crops in Alberta. Information on all Alberta-grown pulse crops is contained in the site which is designed to be easily updated by industry in a ‘wikipedia’ like format.

APG will be holding its Annual General Meeting at 2:45 pm on January 28, 2015 during FarmTech at the Edmonton Expo Centre. We invite all growers and other members of the pulse value chain who are interested in catching up with the organization to attend.

APG will hold elections for bean and non-bean director-at-large positions during the meeting. In addition, there will be an opportunity to address resolutions which have been received from the membership by the January 15, 2015 deadline.

APG will also be recognizing the first winner of the APG Pulse Industry Innovator Award. The organization has come a long way in 25 years, and our members are pleased to recognize the work of an individual in the advancement of the industry. Please join APG on January 28, and note that there is no need to purchase a FarmTech pass in order to have access to the AGM as everyone is welcome.

Alberta Pulse Growers is a host at FarmTech, which is Canada’s premiere crop production and farm management conference. I hope to see you there! All the best to you for a safe and enjoyable new year.