Paired rows of chickpeas and flax in Swift Current. |  Michelle Hubbard photo

Chickpea and flax intercrop paired-rows

Intercropping done well can give both crops an advantage, provided they have just enough space to do their work


Ascochyta rabiei had resistance to strobilurins, a key management chemistry, at every site in a recent survey of the disease across the prairie chickpea growing region. Michelle Hubbard, a research scientist at Agriculture Canada who led the survey, said the efficacy of fungicides against ascochyta is waning. “There’s issues both with fungicide resistance and with […] Read more

Farmers in the United States told the U.S. Department of Agriculture they intend to plant 893,000 acres of peas, an 11 percent drop from last year and 611,000 acres of lentils, a 16 percent increase. | File photo

U.S. pea, lentil acres

Canadian pulse crop analysts are wondering whether U.S. pea and lentil planting intentions are a harbinger of what will happen north of the border. Farmers in the United States told the U.S. Department of Agriculture they intend to plant 893,000 acres of peas, an 11 percent drop from last year and 611,000 acres of lentils, […] Read more

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

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

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 […] Read more


Aphanomyces in the pea on the right has diminished the roots significantly compared to the healthy ones to its left. To the left of the healthy roots, fusarium solani has done a great deal of damage. To the left of those, fusarium avenaceum has also caused problems.  |  Mike Raine photo

Everybody needs wild relatives

Plant breeders can’t always find the disease resistance in tame populations, so they look further afield


Wild relatives of agricultural crops have powerful genes that crop researchers can use to help cultivated varieties adapt to an ever-changing environment. Kirstin Bett, of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, said disease resistance is a useful trait common in wild relatives of domestic crops that researchers might be able […] Read more

The current market for plant-based meat alternatives is estimated at $15 to $20 billion annually. In North America alone, the alternative meat industry is expected to grow by roughly 14 percent per year over each of the next 15 years. | File photo

Pulses face off with soy in the alternatives market

Meat replacement demand rising but processors need to adopt more pulse crops in place of wheat gluten and soybean

Global demand for plant-based alternative meat products is expected to skyrocket over the next 15 years, according to a recent report prepared by consulting company Ernst and Young. The report, commissioned by Protein Industries Canada, said the global market for plant-based meat alternatives, such as veggie burgers, plant-based sausages and alternative-meat nuggets, will be valued […] Read more


The study was run under the direction of Dr. Steve Shirtliffe, and its hypothesis was that UAV hyper-spectral imagery is a useful tool in phenotyping herbicide damage in lentils compared to in-person visual ratings. | Screncap via YouTube/Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS)

Lentil herbicide sensitivity examined by UAV sensors

An eye in the sky helps understand compounding corruption on the ground when it comes to multiple issues occuring

A master’s student at the University of Saskatchewan developed a study to see if images from an unmanned aerial vehicle can be used to phenotype the phytotoxicity of lentil varieties. Phytotoxicity is a toxic effect by a compound on plant growth, including by herbicides. Brianna Zoerb said she wanted to look for another way to […] Read more

Ascochyta rabiei that’s strobilurin resistant is haunting prairie chickpea fields the past couple of seasons. There have been a variety of issues with the crop recently, finding one smokign gun hasn't been successful.  |  Sabine Banniza photo

Chickpea problem a head scratcher

It might be that several issues are being encountered or more than one may compound damage in pulse crop

A plant health issue in Saskatchewan’s chickpea crop has agricultural researchers perplexed. The problem first surfaced in 2019 with Gravelbourg, Assiniboia and Coronach in southwestern Saskatchewan among the worst hit areas. In 2020, a wider area of the province was affected by the mystery ailment, and chickpeas again had a lot of chlorosis, wilting and […] Read more

Camelina, will it be a growth crop?  | Smart Earth Camelina Corp. photo

Speciality crops find strength in numbers

At first glance, seven important specialty crops seem to have little in common, except a need for more research and development, and access to a bigger pot of money. As Carol Ann Patterson explained, each crop — initially canaryseed, flax, mustard and sunflower — was limited in how much research funding it could get. “With […] Read more


Gene-specific markers are more specific and durable, so breeders can track the marker more confidently. As a result, for the breeding of slow-darkening or any desirable cultivar, it can be selected early in the breeding process and efforts will be more effective and faster, said Sangeeta Dhaubhadel. | Agriculture Canada photo

Gene for darkening in pinto beans isolated

Researchers in London and Saskatoon have pinned down the specific gene that causes darkening in pinto beans, a discovery that should help speed new variety development. “Gene-specific markers are more specific and durable, so (breeders) can track the marker more confidently,” said Sangeeta Dhaubhadel. “So for the breeding of slow-darkening or any desirable cultivar it […] Read more

Lower crop emissions, such as N2O, in crops such as lentils green the farm footprint. | File photo

Pulse crops in a tight rotation

Pulse crops have been a significant part of rotations in Saskatchewan for decades. The question is how tight of a rotation is safe? Pulse crop benefits includes breaking cycles of weeds, disease and insects. Plus there’s the nitrogen-fixing factor farmers depend on when they follow a pulse crop with a cereal. But growing pulses crops […] Read more