Here’s the new pulse varieties: Now where’s the rain?

CDC Lima green lentils — large and plump, were cleaned at Moose Jaw’s McDougall Acres seed growers this past December.  |  McDougall Acres photo

The lack of soil moisture that persists across the Prairies this year will not likely cause farmers to shy away from new pulse varieties.

That’s according to Sask Pulse seed program manager Laurie Friesen. She says it’s unlikely that lack of soil moisture will sway growers away from the new releases.

She said avoiding new varieties because of current moisture conditions may not even enter the equation.

“It’s going to bother farmers with any crop, whether it’s an older variety or a new release. It’s doesn’t change whether or not they’re willing to try new varieties. It won’t affect the success or failure of any new variety. Dry conditions affect the overall crop year.”

This brief summary of the 2021 Sask Pulse Variety Update provides data on the five new releases.

Lentils

CDC Lima — It is the highest yielding large green Clearfield variety. In eight years of testing in co-op and regional trials, it yielded 10 percent higher in the brown and dark brown soil zones and 18 percent higher in the black and dark grey zones compared to CDC Impower.

CDC Lima, once IBC 937, is the highest yielding large green Clearfield variety. In eight years of testing in co-op and regional trials, it yielded 10 percent higher in the brown and dark brown soil zones and 18 percent higher in the black and dark grey zones compared to CDC Impower. | PMRA photos

In four years of head-to-head testing in the lentil regional variety trials (2017 – 2020) CDC Lima yielded 16 percent higher in the brown and dark brown soil zones and 13 percent higher in the black and dark grey zones compared to CDC Impower. Compared to non-Clearfield CDC Greenstar, CDC Lima yielded four percent lower in the brown and dark brown soil zones but six percent higher in the black and dark gray zones.

Yellow peas

CDC Canary — This is an early maturing yellow, semi-leafless field pea variety. In eight years of testing, it yielded 98 percent of the check CDC Amarillo in both the north and south geographies. It has very good standability as well as a round seed shape and good resistance to seed coat breakage. It is a good choice anywhere that early maturity is important.

CDC Canary, previously 3360-7, yielded 98 percent of the check CDC Amarillo in both the north and south geographies. It has very good standability as well as a round seed shape and good resistance to seed coat breakage. | PMRA photos

CDC Lewochko — In seven years testing in the co-op and regional trials, CDC Lewochko yielded 102 percent of the check variety in the south and 103 percent in the north. It has very good lodging resistance and the highest protein of the yellow pea varieties at +0.7 percent versus CDC Amarillo. There may be limited seed starting in 2021.

CDC Lewochko, formerly 4061-4, yellow pea will be in short supply this year. The new variety offiers slighlty higher yields with excellent lodging resistance. | PMRA photos

Green peas

CDC Forest— A green cotyledon, semi-leafless field pea variety. In eight years of co-op and regional trials, CDC Forest was the top yielding green pea in both the north and south geographies. It yielded 100 percent of the yellow pea check CDC Amarillo in the south and 101 percent in the north. It has good lodging resistance, medium maturity, medium seed size, good resistance to seed coat breakage. Protein is similar to CDC Amarillo. Although good for bleaching, some growers indicate it is not as good as Raezer for this trait.

CDC Forest, formerly known as 3422-8, is a new green pea for the Prairies, a top yielder in trials, it has a medium seed size. | PMRA photos

In the pipeline

There are a number of new CDC varieties in the variety release program, currently in seed production for future distribution. These new pulse varieties will be available to growers about four or five years after release to select seed growers:

  • Two new yellow pea varieties in 2021
  • Two new small red lentil varieties in 2019 (CDC Nimble and CDC Simmie)
  • One new large green lentil variety in 2021 (CDC Grimm)
  • One new small green lentil variety in 2021 (CDC Jimini)
  • Four new kabuli chickpeas: CDC Lancer (2019), CDC Orkney (2020) and two in 2021
  • Two new desi chickpea varieties in 2021
Halfway in size between Redberry and Impala, CDC Nimble is a new Clearfield variety that has shown repeatedly to out-yield CDC Maxim.

In the report Friesen says public and private breeding partnerships and will address important production concerns:

  • Resistance to root rot in peas and lentils
  • New herbicide traits in lentils
  • Increasing the adaptability of chickpeas, fababeans, and dry beans to current and expanded production areas in Saskatchewan.

Drought tolerance

Saskatchewan, like the rest of the Canadian Prairies, can be prone to very dry condition from time to time, yet there is no mention of drought tolerance in any of the five new releases.

Friesen says that doesn’t mean researchers aren’t looking for it.

“Drought tolerance isn’t one of the key targets that are measured. It doesn’t mean they (breeders) aren’t looking at genetics with that tolerance.”

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