At a news conference yesterday, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers announced that it is contributing a million dollars to the Phytotron Renewal Project at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. These specialized growth chambers enable year round plant research and teaching. The news conference was a time to reflect on what field pea, lentil and chickpea production means to this province. Saskatchewan Pulse Growers collects a levy on pulse sales and a lot of that money goes to the University’s Crop Development Centre for variety development. The aim is to get new and improved varieties into the hands of growers as quickly and cheaply as possible. A total of 81 new pulse varieties have been released royalty free. The 18,000 pulse producers in the province are paying for the development of new varieties for their own benefit and the benefit of an entire industry. In 2009, $1.8 billion worth of pulse production was exported from Saskatchewan. We are the world’s leading pulse exporter. A big part of the success has been due to collaboration between producers and the University’s Crop Development Centre. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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