Swathing will produce the green lentil colour attributes some markets are looking for, but chasing the premium comes with significant risk. | File photo

Swath or desiccate? Risks and reward at lentil harvest

Colour brings a premium, but wrinkles and sprouts can quickly downgrade a crop and wipe out any potential gains

Harvest season is often a race against time and for lentil growers looking for optimum quality, timing is everything. Seedcoat colour, particularly for green lentils, is a quality factor that may earn a premium, but obtaining that premium depends on, yes, timing. Seeding early, using varieties that retain colour better and paying attention to disease […] Read more

University of Saskatchewan dry bean and lentil breeder Kirsten Bett says this new navy bean stands taller and with higher pods, similar to CDC Blackstrap black beans. | Debra Marshall photo

New navy bean designed for Sask. fields

A navy bean that offers better yield, shorter season, and higher pod height is coming on stream just in time for farmers to take advantage of a push to increase irrigated acres in Saskatchewan. Ken McDougall said the bean should appeal to farmers that have been reluctant to grow dry beans due to the challenges […] Read more

Kochia, such as these examples thriving among a lentil crop, has adapted to survive drought, saline soils, and increasingly, most herbicides. | File photo

Keeping ahead of kochia can be a challenge

Managing the tough, adaptable weed takes all the tools that are available in farmers’ integrated pest management toolkit

It is possible to reclaim fields where herbicide-resistant kochia has the upper hand, but it takes long-term planning for crop and herbicide rotations, as well as patch management. Group 2 resistant kochia was first found on the Prairies in the late 1980s and within two decades it spread across the region. “That type of resistance […] Read more


Multibillion-dollar trade is growing as pet owners demand high-quality food formulations. | Getty Images

Pampered pets provide profitable market for pulses

As Fido and friends have moved from the doghouse to the people house, pet nutrition has been elevated to big business and big opportunity for pulse producers. “There has been an emergence of high-quality pet food products,” said Colin Young of Mid-West Grain near Moose Jaw, Sask. “The pet has moved from being an animal […] Read more

Pulses lack taurine. Dogs’ bodies naturally manufacture taurine in their livers and nervous systems, but they need two other amino acids, cysteine and methionine, in order to make it. Pulses are short on these as well. An easy fix, at least in the interim, is to add taurine to the recipe for doggo’s dinner. | Getty Images

Read the label to keep your doggo healthy

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised concerns about pulse-based dog foods in 2018, it put a damper on the market. The formulations were associated with increased incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart, a condition that, left untreated, results in a dog’s heart failure and death. The chief candidate as a cause is […] Read more


Pulse fields infested with pea aphids can see yields reduced to zero. | Sean Prager photo

Proactive scouting called essential

Producers are urged to keep close watch on their fields this season as a way to control pea aphids in their pulse crops

Pea aphids. If you’re a western Canadian pulse crop producer and you haven’t had to deal with them yet, there’s a good chance you will in the near future. Tyler Wist, an entomologist with Agriculture Canada, said the pea aphid has become one of the most prevalent pests affecting pulse crops in Western Canada. The […] Read more

To help develop integrated weed management recommendations for fababeans, Amanda Fedorchuk, a masters student at the University of Saskatchewan, has developed an experiment that uses residual herbicides with cultural and mechanical weed control. | File photo

Weed management improved by multiple methods

Weed management is challenging in pulse crops because of limited herbicide options, poor competitiveness and now the emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds. So to help develop integrated weed management recommendations for fababeans, Amanda Fedorchuk, a masters student at the University of Saskatchewan, has developed an experiment that uses residual herbicides with cultural and mechanical weed control. […] Read more

This field trial at Bon Accord near Edmonton shows results of peas planted on no stubble, left, and peas inter-row seeded into 30 centimetres standing wheat stubble. | Sheri Strydhorst photo

High cereal stubble helps combat lodging in peas

Researchers in Alberta determine that seed size was slightly bigger and seed weight was up about three percent

Leaving the stubble a little higher when harvesting this year’s cereal crop could make things a lot easier with next year’s peas. “The idea is you seed your peas into standing wheat stubble, so that the peas go in between the rows of wheat,” said Sheri Strydhorst. “At that point when the peas start to […] Read more


Pea leaf weevils are a widespread invasive pest but populations are currently low. | Agriculture Canada photo

Pea leaf weevil advance slowed by cold, dry prairie climate

The pest typically spreads into new areas by walking, which is another reason its expansion across the Prairies has been slow

It’s been tough slogging for the pea leaf weevil to expand its range in prairie pea and fababean crops. “One of the factors that we think is contributing to diminishing populations, at least here in Saskatchewan, are these hard cold snaps without a whole lot of snow. So these animals are a little bit more […] Read more

Wetter areas of fields with high loads of anthracnose are more likely to be hot spots of resistance to fungicides. | File photo

Lentil disease resists control

A Saskatchewan Agriculture survey has found that anthracnose is present in most lentil fields in the province

Many, if not most lentil crops in Saskatchewan, have anthracnose that is resistant to Group 11 fungicides — the strobilurins. That’s one of the findings of a survey, done in 2020, where Ministry of Agriculture staff and agronomists collected samples of diseased lentils throughout Saskatchewan. “It (fungicide resistance) is widespread across the province,” said Michelle […] Read more