Pulse survey focuses on life-cycle assessment

The project hopes to identify for international buyers an environmental footprint for peas and lentils grown in Canada

Growers who fill out a Pulse Canada survey by Feb. 7 have a chance of winning a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

“It’s probably one of the better draws in terms of your ability to win something. If we have 300 growers that take the survey, it would be much better odds of winning compared to the 50/50 at a Jets game,” said Denis Trémorin of Pulse Canada.

The survey is part of a Pulse Canada project that aims to develop a life-cycle assessment for peas and lentils grown in Canada.

“The assessment itself will help us tell a story about the environmental footprint of peas and lentils across Canada, in a format that is internationally recognized,” Trémorin said.

“Lots of companies and associations conduct life-cycle assessments, it gives a common framework so we can talk about the environmental footprint, like water, land, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

He said Pulse Canada also wants to develop an inventory of data that companies, academics, and governments can use to conduct environmental assessments.

If a food company wants to develop a new product using Canadian pea protein, they will need this kind of information to create a life-cycle assessment of their product.

“But when they go into the database that they are accessing they may not have Canadian data, or the data may be weak from Canada. So what we’re doing is we’re trying to ensure that these inventories that people are plugging into have good representative data for Canadian production,” Trémorin said.

He said information that is available from crop research may not be representative of what’s actually happening on farms, which is why they want to build up the inventories from actual farm data.

The survey is looking for three components of production data:

  • Land location and acres of peas or lentils grown.
  • Fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Fuel use.

“This is probably the most challenging one in terms of getting data from producers, for them to think of all of the equipment they are using on their farm, and then estimate how much fuel they’re using in these tractors or implements,” Trémorin said.

He said the survey is tough and farmers need to think before answering the questions.

“All were asking is that farmers do their best. If they can’t answer a question, that’s fine. We’re just trying to gather as much information as we can.”

The information collected will contribute to regionalized, average data sets, and individual farm data will not be disclosed.

Pulse Canada is working with Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers and SaskPulse to conduct the survey.

It is available at www.PulseCanada.com/GrowerSurvey.

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