The Canadian Agricultural Partnerships five-year pulse cluster research program wrapped up at the end of March.

The total value of research under the Pulse AgriScience Cluster was over $17 million, with $11.1 million coming from the CAP AgriScience Cluster program.  

The pulse cluster involved investment from a number of industry partners including Pulse Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, and Ontario Bean Growers, as well as BASF, Bayer, Engage Agro, Syngenta, and Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI). 

In total 16 research projects were funded through the program looking at everything genetically improved field pea varieties, early maturing bean varieties, the mitigation of root rots, the use of pulse-based ingredients to develop low glycemic pet food, and more.

Sherrilyn  Phelps,  the director of research and development with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers says one project they helped fund was led by Dr Syama Chatterton from AAFC Lethbridge and focused on mitigating various root rot pathogens through genetics. 

"What they found was that typically any varieties that have partial resistance, the resistance would be either to aphanomyces but they don't confer the resistance to the other species. So they did look at some of the domestic germplasm as well and did find some levels of resistance to different species of Fusarium. So, we're starting to identify those sources of resistance. Now the challenge is trying to get all of those different pieces of resistance into one line."

She says they also looked at using cover cropping options as a way to mitigate root rot.

"They were looking at the impact of soybeans, faba beans, and chickpeas in rotation with peas to see if we can extend those pea rotations to six or eight years. And still include an alternative pulse crop in there to see what the impact would be on the aphanomyces levels. What they found is that they didn't see any increase in the aphanomyces levels."

Overall, the research shows there are some alternative pulses that can be grown in extended rotations and that those rotations need to be extended past six years when looking at fields that have high levels of aphanomyces.

To check out all of the research results scroll through the press release here.

The next round of research under the Canadian Pulse Science Research Cluster runs from 2023 to 2028.