Alberta Pulse Growers Launches New App For Regional Variety Trials And News In Real Time


Alberta pulse producers can now download a smartphone app that allows them to search data from Regional Variety Trials (RVT) relevant to their zone and receive up-to-the-minute news from the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission (APG).

“The new Alberta Pulse Growers app will allow farmers to easily find out how pulse varieties fared in their own zones,” said APG chair D’Arcy Hilgartner. “This means that trial results will be available to growers for different varieties and areas as they are reported. The new app will make a world of difference to growers like me who previously had to wait for all of the data to be reported and published at the same time.”

The app is available for free download on iTunes and Google Play. The RVT information can also be accessed via

APG has funded regional variety trials across the province for many years to ensure that growers have current yield, standability and disease resistance information relevant to their own farms. APG is committed to ensuring the sharing of high quality data in an easy-to-use format for the producers who can benefit from it. The new web tool was designed to allow Alberta pulse producers to access the information they need when they need it because a pillar of best management practices for every crop is selecting a variety that is suited to a growing environment.

The app will also allow busy producers to receive news alerts for relevant APG updates such as news releases, Feed Pea and Faba Bean Feed Benchmarks, and Chuck Penner’s Pulse Market Insight column.

Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

APG Seeks Advisors in All Zones to Advance Alberta’s Pulse Industry & Develop Leadership


The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission (APG) invites pulse producers who want to grow the province’s pulse industry while developing their own leadership skills to run for election as an advisor in their zone.

“Advisors are essential to the success and continued growth of the commission and Alberta’s pulse industry,” said APG Chair D’Arcy Hilgartner. “I began as an advisor and learned so much about APG and the pulse industry that when the opportunity came to be elected as a director, I was confident that I had the experience to step into that role.”

Participating with the organization as an advisor is an opportunity for a producer to develop their leadership skills. Advisors help guide research and extension activities specific to their zone. Directors on APG’s provincial board often serve as advisors first.

Positions are available for election in all zones this fall. Producers must have sold pulses within the last two years to be eligible to serve as an advisor. Pulse growers who are interested in becoming an advisor in their zone must be nominated by an eligible pulse grower at their zone annual general meeting listed below.

Zone 1Dec. 3, Heritage Inn, Taber

Zone 2Nov. 14, Strathmore Civic Centre

Zone 3Nov. 21, Westlock & District Community Hall

Zone 4 Nov. 19, Rycroft Ag Centre

Zone 5Nov. 22, Willingdon Recreation Centre

Pulse producers who have questions about advisor elections are encouraged to contact the APG office ([email protected]).

The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. Our vision is to have Alberta pulses recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly, healthy, nutritious, and recognized by all producers as being an essential element in a sustainable cropping system.

Source: Alberta Pulse Growers

Storage Tips for Soybeans


Knowing how to properly store soybeans is especially important this year as an increasing number of Alberta growers warmed up to growing soybeans as the market cooled down.

Dr. Joy Agnew of Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) shared some expert tips for drying and storing an oilseed like soybeans that will come in handy this year with a colder and wetter September than usual in much of Alberta.

“Spoilage of soybeans usually isn’t the issue,” she said. “The main challenge with storage of soybeans, particularly in western Canada, is keeping them from freezing to the point where they will not flow out of the bin. Some commercially available solutions to help break up frozen masses in the bin are available, but none have been proven yet.”

Agnew added that it is highly recommended to “core” a bin of soybeans to help prevent spoilage and storability issues. This means pulling out a load to invert the cone at the top of a full bin. The material removed during coring is likely to be of lower quality (broken seeds, dockage, etc.) and may need to be stored separately.

For short-term storage of soybeans (<6 months), target a 12% moisture content. For longer-term storage of soybeans (>6 months), target a 10% moisture content.

As for all grains, cool soybeans to 15 degrees Celsius or lower to minimize risk of spoilage. Due to the higher risk of freezing/sticking, be careful about cooling below five degrees Celsius.

Blowing air through soybeans is generally much easier than blowing air through other oilseeds because of the larger kernels. Less resistance equals more airflow.

“Equilibrium moisture content charts for soybeans do exist,” Agnew noted, “but I am unsure how accurate or useful they are since we have never evaluated natural air drying of soybeans.”

For more information about storing pulses, click here for resources from Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and here for information from Iowa State University.

Click here to read more about PAMI’s research project investigating best practices for storing pulses.

Source: Pulse Check

Alberta Pulse Growers Invests $2.4 Million in Partner Funding for Federal Cluster Research Projects


Alberta Pulse Growers committed $2.4 million to Pulse Science Cluster projects announced Sept. 11 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

“This is the largest commitment Alberta Pulse Growers has ever made into Science Clusters in the history of the federal program,” said Chair D’Arcy Hilgartner of Alberta Pulse Growers. “This investment demonstrates the commitment of APG and the Government of Canada to research programs that benefit pulse growers. We really appreciate Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s continued investment into pulse research. Participation in Cluster projects helps APG research dollars go further.”

The Pulse Science Cluster brings together researchers from across Canada to work on pulse specific issues that were prioritized through a collaborative effort between Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Ontario Bean Growers, as well as Pulse Canada.

APG is involved in the following Pulse Science Cluster projects: Selection for disease resistance in early maturing bean lines for Alberta; Identification of dry bean lines in Ontario and the Prairies with improved canning and cooking quality; Optimizing disease management strategies for white mould and bacterial blights of dry bean; Development of genetically improved field pea varieties and germplasm for the Canadian pulse industry and the evaluation of flavour, physiochemical and functional characteristics in high protein pea breeding lines; Breeding, physiology and agronomy to mitigate yield loss caused by root rots of pea; Vigilance towards plant nematodes to sustain pulse production on the Canadian Prairies; and Integrated pest management of pea leaf weevil using biological control and low insecticide-input alternatives.

The funding for these projects is in addition to APG’s investment of $111,000 for three projects as part of the Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster, which was announced in July. Those projects are: Coordination of a crop disease monitoring network for Western Canada; Spray drift management under changing operational requirements; and Optimizing systems productivity, resilience and sustainability in the major Canadian ecozones.

The Alberta Pulse Growers Commission represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. Our vision is to have Alberta pulses recognized by consumers as environmentally friendly, healthy, nutritious, and recognized by all producers as being an essential element in a sustainable cropping system.

Source: Alberta Pulse Growers

New Tool in Time for Faba Bean Harvest Helps Growers Determine When to Spray

- Fava beans

The new Pulse Spray to Swath Interval Calculator helps take the challenge out of timing your desiccant (diquat) or pre‐harvest herbicide (glyphosate) application in faba beans this fall.

The Spray to Swath Interval is the minimum number of days that must pass between product application and cutting your crop by swathing or straight‐cutting. On farm chemical labels, you’ll see it referred to as the Pre‐Harvest Interval or PHI. Cutting before this interval has lapsed can leave unacceptable residues on harvested seed. There are also Spray to Swath Interval Calculators available for peas, lentils, dry beans and chickpeas available at

Spraying faba beans too early can decrease yield and seed size while spraying too late, especially after a frost, can greatly delay the dry down of the crop as well as have yield implications.

“We recommend desiccation in the Central Alberta area be no later than Sept. 10 because of the risk of frost,” said Pulse Research Scientist Robyne Bowness Davidson of Alberta Agriculture & Forestry. “You have to look at the crop. Look at the calendar and make a desiccation decision considering growth stage and environmental conditions. There can be frost any time after the middle of September in Central Alberta, so therefore you must make the call aiming for the highest yield potential found in the bottom of the plant and not wait for the green material at the top. If frost hits the crop, the green material at the top will go to absolute mush resulting in yield losses whereas the more mature pods will be fine. The ones that do have a bit of firmness, depending on moisture likely will turn black. The black ones will not be accepted into the human consumption market but will still be suitable for the feed market. If the seeds split into two halves when squeezed, it is an indication that moisture levels are below 40% and yield can be captured.”

Comparing the colour change of the hilum (the scar or crease on the seed) in the top pods and bottom pods on the main stem is helpful for proper timing. The seeds in the top pods of the plant should ideally be full size and the hilum should be similar in colour change to those seeds at the bottom pods. The hilum colour change in tannin variety faba beans, typically for food markets, is from a greenish colour to black. When top pod seeds and bottom pod seeds hilum colour is similar and changed to a black in colour, it indicates the top seeds have fully matured. It is more difficult to detect the change in hilum colour in low tannin varieties such as Snowbird. When the hilum on the bottom pod seeds and top of the plant pod seeds on the main stem have both changed from green to light tan in colour, this indicates the seeds have fully matured.

Ensuring the seeds at the top of the plant have matured fully will prevent reduced seed size and ensure that you achieve your full yield potential. Unfortunately, depending on the year and environmental conditions this may not be possible, especially if frost is in the forecast. In most cases, it is better to err on the later side than to spray too early. Diquat has a much faster dry down period and can work within five days while glyphosate works much slower (10‐14 days or longer until green weeds and stems begin to turn colour) and should be utilized to aid in perennial weed control.

Source: Alberta Pulse Growers

Pulse Crop Walks in Vegreville and Barrhead This Week


Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is hosting two pulse crop walks – in the Vegreville area on Wednesday, July 18 and the Barrhead area on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

These walks will include:

  • An overview of the pulse industry.
  • A tour of preregistered field pea and faba bean lines and the pulse regional variety trials.
  • A disease update.

The pulse crop walks will take place from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on each day. Time will be set aside for producers to ask questions.

Contact Kelly at 780-674-8268 to register and to get directions to the pulse sites by Vegreville and Barrhead.

Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry