Every year, Alberta Pulse Growers invests in research to ensure pulse producers and the pulse industry in Alberta stay profitable, sustainable, and competitive. We do that by supporting projects that help growers in three important areas: Grow Genetics, Grow Yield, and Grow Sustainability.
Alberta Pulse Growers supports a variety of projects that help grow genetics for all pulse crops. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, 22% of research investments were targeted towards genetic improvement.
As an industry we have set ourselves a goal of increasing pulse production by 20% by 2027. Foundational to achieving this target is a strong, relevant genetic base for pulse varieties. APG currently is engaged with breeding programs at CDC Saskatoon, AAFC Lacombe, AAFC Lethbridge, Lima Grains, and DL Seeds in varietal development, screening as well as providing growers with information about the newest varieties and how they perform in their growing region by supporting the Regional Variety Trials.
Alberta Pulse Growers supports a variety of projects that help grow yield. Forty percent of research investments current to 2016 are aimed towards agronomic advancements in pea, bean, lentil and faba bean crops grown across the province.
From disease and weed management to insect control to seeding rate and fertility management, researchers across western Canada are actively working to address the issues that face Alberta pulse growers. With the shared goal of maximizing yield and crop quality, staying on top of best management practices to ensure that there is a pulse crop available in every growing region has been identified as a top priority of our organization.
Alberta Pulse Growers supports a variety of projects that help grow sustainability.
Remaining a relevant and profitable cropping option for producers is critical to the pulse industry’s long-term success. Pulse crops have an amazing story to tell regarding water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency and carbon footprints. All these characteristics have caused the food processing industry to take notice.
Research to ensure that we are able to capture these attributes of pulse crops, focusing on rotational benefits, fertility and water management secure our place as a key component of the Alberta crop industry.
Pulse Science Cluster
The Agri-Innovation Program is an initiative from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). As part of this program, pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes, and products are supported. The Agri-Science Cluster is also part of this program, addressing several themes that are priorities to the industry and would request support toward several research activities across the country.
The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission has been an active participant in the Pulse Science Cluster 1 (2010 – 2013) under AAFC’s Growing Forward and is currently participating in the Pulse Science Cluster 2 (2013-2018) under AAFC’s Growing Forward 2. Pulse producers in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan currently fund a significant portion of the pulse research into genetic improvement, agronomy and sustainable production, as well as end-use processing and utilization to advance value-added applications for pulses in existing and new markets.
There is a continued need to increase the scope of pulse research and address the gaps that have been identified as standing in the way of continued market growth in this sector. The opportunity to leverage our industry funding with government funds will allow the pulse sector to address many of these knowledge gaps in these science Clusters over the next five years.
Success of Pulse Science Cluster 2
The Pulse Science Cluster 2 has 4 priority areas and has investments in 30 projects.
- Genetic Improvement (14 projects: $8,406,856)
- Agronomic Improvement (7 projects: $3,436,512)
- Pulse Processing and Utilization (4 projects: $1,694,304)
- Human Health Outcomes (5 projects: $3,567,869)
The $15 million of government investment is matched with $5.17 million of pulse industry funding. Industry investment is primarily from producer service fees and is invested in partnership with pulse grower organizations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. APG has invested over $803,000, leveraging grower funding in Cluster 2 activities that will benefit the pulse industry in Alberta, and nationally, across the sector in the identified priority areas.