Prairie producers looking to plant pulses in 2021 have a few new and notable options. SeedNet, SeCan, FP Genetics, Prairie Fava, Riddell Seed Company and Saskatchewan seed growers are bringing a combined total of 13 new pulse proposals to the market in 2021. The coming year’s options include strong yielders and improved disease resistance.
And one of the major priorities in pulse breeding and production today is protein content. “With all of the pulse processing plants going up, the big word is protein,” says Derek Mohr, pulse business manager at DL Seeds.
“The end users don’t just want peas; they want high-quality peas. The varieties we have on the market are okay to good for protein but as an industry, we’re aiming to raise that bar. We need to be breeding not just for yield but for quality and agronomics too.”
While some of the varieties scheduled for release in 2021 offer improved protein, really significant gains are still likely a handful of years away.
“In a good-case scenario, it takes about eight to 10 years to develop a new pea or fava bean variety,” says Mohr. “(Breeders) have been working on increasing protein levels for some time now, so I’m hopeful in the next few years’ farmers will start to see some new, higher protein varieties available to them.”
Already, many of the new options are a solid step up in protein levels compared to varieties from past years. Please note, the following list includes only brand new variety releases for 2021.
3 of the new pulse proposals growers
CDC Lima is a large green lentil developed by the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. It is the highest-yielding, large green Clearfield lentil variety. In six years of testing in the Co-op and Regional Trials, it yielded 113 per cent of the Clearfield large green lentil variety CDC Impower in the brown and dark-brown soil zones and 137 per cent in the black and dark-grey zones. It has a larger, thicker seed compared to CDC Impower, making CDC Lima more suitable for lentil dehulling. It is slightly shorter than its predecessors CDC Impower and CDC Improve.
CDC Canary is an early maturing yellow, semi-leafless field pea variety developed at the Crop Development Centre. In seven years of testing, it yielded 98 per cent of the check variety CDC Amarillo in both the north and south geographies. It has very good standability. It has a round seed shape and good resistance to seed coat breakage. It is a good choice in northern areas or anywhere that early maturity is important.
CDC Lewochko is a high-yielding, mid-maturing, yellow cotyledon, semi-leafless field pea variety developed by the Crop Development Centre. In five years of testing in the Co-op and Regional Trials in Saskatchewan, CDC Lewochko yielded 104 per cent of the check variety CDC Amarillo in the south and 103 per cent in the north. It has very good seed characteristics. It rated good for resistance to seed coat breakage, has resistance to dimpling, low-green colouration and a round shape. It has good lodging resistance and very good protein. There will be a lot of seed of this variety in 2022; however, there may be limited seed starting in 2021.