APG’s Pulse Online Database Launched in Time for 2015 Growing Season (PCN Spring 2015) MAR 25 2015 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Pulse Crop News.
Updated information about growing and marketing pulse crops in Alberta is now available through the Pulse Online Database at pulsepod.ca.
The PulsePOD will be regularly updated by experts in Alberta’s pulse industry to ensure that growers have the most current information. This wiki is a more responsive and searchable version of Alberta Agriculture’s Pulse Manual, a book which has not been kept up to date since it was first drafted in 1997.
The new wiki is presented by APG with funding support from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agriculture Initiatives Program.
“APG recognized that the Pulse Manual was a good tool that needed to be restructured, rewritten, and reformatted to make it more relevant to the producers who need it,” said APG Executive Director Leanne Fischbuch. “An online Pulse Manual in wiki format makes it easy for producers with internet access and computer skills to find the information they need, even from out in the field.”
She added that the Pulse Manual was packed with great information but it was not online and was not easily updated because of its coil-bound format. The paper document was also not easily accessed by producers who did not have a copy.
However, the Pulse Manual has always been an important document both for new pulse producers who require guidance and for established pulse producers who use it to keep notes and help with their annual pulse production. In fact, a series of focus groups with producers in 2007 showed that pulse producers viewed the manual as a valuable resource, especially to producers new to pulses.
“We’re constantly learning about new best practices for the various pulse crops,” Fischbuch added. “Once we have research that’s been completed and published, we can add the information on the site in a useful way to keep people on top of advancements.”
The goal for the future is to have researchers and other experts add their findings directly to the wiki.
There are some controls offered through the wiki format so that members of the public can’t add random information to the site.
APG recognizes that not all producers, however, have internet access or an interest in using the computer for this type of farm business. Some people simply prefer hard-copy documents that allow them to make notes or take necessary information out into the field. The option to print will be available to these producers.
Growers of field peas, dry beans, lentils, faba beans, and soybeans can rely on PulsePOD for information about pre-seeding and post-seeding considerations, adaptation, production economics, marketing, rotational benefits, diseases, weed control, harvest, market choices, grading, and varieties for Alberta. The responsive nature of the wiki will allow producers to access information on emerging pulse crops and production considerations in a timely manner in the future.