Keep the Pulse in your Pulses with a Planned Crop Production Program
Canadian growers are proud to be the world’s largest exporters of pulse crops, providing a vast supply of an affordable source of high-quality protein to families across the globe. In lentils, for example, Canada now accounts for 55 percent of world trade.
Behind the headlines, however, it’s clear that Canada’s current dominance in pulse crops was by no means easy to achieve. Growers and industry have worked hard to solve a host of agronomic challenges and stay on top of them. Success in peas and lentils demands getting the crop off to the best start possible and that starts with seed.
“Getting peas and lentils off to the best start possible is crucial to ensuring a successful season and capturing this growing opportunity,” says Russell Trischuk, Technical Marketing Specialist, Functional Crop Care with BASF. “Choose a seed treatment with systemic activity for protection from root to shoot during the critical initial seedling growth stages. Coupling this early protection with an in-season herbicide application protects plants from both weeds and disease for a quality crop.”
The Clearfield advantage
One of the key contributors to Canada’s pulse success has been the development and ongoing improvement of Clearfield lentil varieties.
“Clearfield lentils provide a production advantage,” says Trischuk, “allowing growers to effectively control weeds at the optimum time after the crop emerges without fear of crop damage.”
As Trischuk explains, the 16 Clearfield lentil varieties available today are the result of a more than 25-year partnership involving the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC), BASF, and other public and private industry organizations like Discovery Seed Labs in Saskatoon.
“I think we will see more and more go to a Clearfield platform in the lentil market with new varieties. This will mean larger increases to yields and drought tolerance. It will just grow and grow,” says Bruce Carriere, Owner & Founder of Discovery Seed Labs, Saskatoon, Canada. “This is simply due to the fact that Clearfield has been designed for the Canadian market and custom made for the Canadian grower. It has been so well received in the country by growers, because they know the benefits of it and have used it for years.”
Continuous improvement in lentils
Today, growers choose Clearfield for the agronomic benefits the system offers. That same decision also helps ensure that even higher-performing lentil varieties are available in the future.
Discovery Seed Labs, along with the CDC, continue to work to meet breeding objectives for new lentil varieties, including disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, yield enhancement and seed nutrition.
“With the development of Clearfield, the testing has always been for the protection of the growers themselves, not BASF,” says Carriere. “Our work, alongside BASF and CDC, is driven by a commitment that remains in the best interest of the grower. That is what brought us together in the first place. We may look at and stringently test twenty compounds before they will be available to growers, and of those 20 compounds, there may only be two that make it to market.”
Ongoing research is a crucial component to enabling heartier crops that are disease- and pest-resistant and have the potential to produce higher, healthier yields. When growers sign the Clearfield Commitment for lentils and purchase a matching lentil herbicide, they are supporting crop advancement as a portion of BASF herbicide sales are reinvested in the CDC breeding program that supports further research and development.
© 2017 BASF Canada Inc.