Sask. pulse association doubles research funding

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has more than doubled its research funding to the University of Sask-atchewan’s Crop Development Centre.

It recently announced nearly $23 million to support pulse crop breeding for the next five years.

That’s up from $9.2 million from the last five-year term and $6.2 million for the original five year term.

“Much of the success of the pulse crop industry has been because of having well-adapted varieties that are suitable for production here,” said Carl Potts of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.

“That’s been a major reason for some of the growth of our industry.”

More than 110 pulse crop varieties have been developed by CDC and released through SPG’s variety release program since 1997.

The ability to make larger investments into plant breeding is made possible by producer’s check-off contributions.

However, more money is also needed to keep pace with the rising costs of research and development under faster breeding cycles, which takes plants from initial crosses to finished varieties in about 10 generations.

Potts said a significant amount of money goes into the cost of greenhouse and field-related work, as well as the price of equipment, planting and maintenance of field plots, and staff.

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