The Mission of the Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG) is “to provide Manitoba pulse grower members with production knowledge and market development support, through focused research, advocacy and linkages with industry partners”. We believe production knowledge is gained through investment into scientific research and each year MPSG allocates 50-60% of our budget towards research. Each year, research priorities are reviewed by the MPSG research committee to ensure we are focusing on addressing relevant issues today and into the future.
Since 2010, MPSG has made an investment of $5.1M to over 100 research projects that have advanced soybean and pulse crop production systems and improved farmer profitability in Manitoba.
Goals and achievements of our research program:
Increasing profitability for farmers
- New recommendations for an established soybean plant stand of 140-160,000 plants/ac were developed based on final results from Mohr et al. 2014. The study looked at various row spacing and plant populations across 8 Manitoba sites from 2010-2013. This finding saves farmers $13/ac compared to previous recommendations to establish 180-210,000 plants/ac.
Empowering farmers to conduct research on their farm
- The On-Farm Network was officially launched in April 2014. This program funds research that is conducted in a field-scale environment on working farms. MPSG’s goal is to work with farmers to show them how to conduct reliable research while producing a large amount of data that turns into robust production recommendations for our entire soybean and pulse industry.
Meeting the needs of farmers and industry
- The first dry bean grower survey was distributed to all dry bean farmers in fall of 2014 to assess production practices, production constraints, crop inputs and research needs. Results will provide an overview of the dry bean industry and steer research priorities for MPSG.
Increasing pulse consumption
- Collaboration with Red River College’s Paterson Global Foods Institute led to the development of 10 brand new recipes utilizing local pulse flours and purees. The recipes were featured at the Plating Pulses event in January 2015 where local chefs, food critics and farmers gathered to sample the new recipes and learn more about local production. Since the event, the recipes have been featured on CTV Morning Live and one recipe is on the menu at the Culinary Exchange cafeteria in Red River College.
Improving market access
- Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of yellow peas, which are shipped primarily to India. Research by Tenuta et al. 2013 identified that the stem and bulb nematode species present in western Canada is D. weischeri, and not the quarantine stem and bulb nematode D. dipsac; and that weed seeds are the source of its very rare occurrence in yellow pea export grain. These results have led to progress by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to address the market access issue of yellow pea with India and reducing the costs associated with ensuring shipments are pest free.
MPSG is committed to maximizing the investment made by pulse and soybean farmers into research. Through collaboration we are able to leverage grower dollars and increase the overall value of our research investment. Some of the major programs that MPSG is involved with are listed below:
Growing Forward 2
Growing Forward 2 (GF2) is a five-year (2013-2018) policy framework for Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector. GF2 is a $3 billion dollar investment by federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments and the foundation for co-ordinated government action to help the agriculture and agri-food sectors become more profitable, competitive and innovative. GF2 programs focus on innovation, competitiveness and market development to ensure Canadian producers and processors have the tools and resources they need to continue to innovate and capitalize on emerging market opportunities.
In 2014, MPSG received $403K through the GF2: Agriculture Research Development Initiative (ARDI) to support 7 projects aimed at improving soybean production across the growing regions of Manitoba. These 7 projects are valued at a total of $1.2M through joint support from GF2, MPSG and Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF). MPSG also received $50K through the GF2: Growing Innovation On-Farm program to conduct soybean and corn residue management trials and $28K through the GF2: Growing Visions program to support a facilitated strategic planning session for the MPSG Board of Directors and staff.
In 2015, MPSG received $277,794 through the GF2: Agriculture Research Development Initiative (ARDI) to support 5 projects aimed at soybean production, edible bean effects on blood vessel function, and using peas and beans as a nitrogen nutrient in various fermentations. MPSG also received $63K through the GF2: Growing Innovation On-Farm program for seed treatment and iron chlorosis trials, $8,223.40 from the GF2: Growing Actions program for participating in the Ministerial Mission to China, $11,332.50 from the GF2: Growing Visions program for updating our by-laws, and $23,362.50 from the GF2: Growing Competitiveness – Agri-Extension program for development and distribution of production resources and additions to the MPSG Bean App.
MPSG continues to apply for GF2 program funding throughout the year and into 2016.
Western Economic Development Program
For more than 25 years, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has been working to diversify the western economy while improving the quality of life of western Canadians. WD aims to be a leader in building a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation and community development. Together, we are showing the world that the West Means Business.
The Western Diversification Program (WDP) is one of the programs through which WD makes strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada.
In 2013, WDP made a strategic investment of $242K towards the purchase of new row crop research equipment. The modern planter and combine will enable MPSG in collaboration with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and the University of Manitoba, to conduct innovative agronomic research in soybeans and corn resulting in best management practices for farmers to adopt. The WDP investment was matched with check-off funding from MPSG and MCGA for a total value of $462K.
In 2014, WDP made a $1.2M investment towards research equipment to be used at 11 research stations across Manitoba, including weigh wagons, trucks, planters, a tractor, a fertilizer applicator, a combine, a row crop combine header, a grain analyzer, and tillage implements. This project will result in increased production and will benefit soybean and corn growers across western Canada. The Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), MPSG, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba all collaborated together on this project.
Pulse Science Cluster
This is a Canada-wide partnership between all provincial pulse organizations (Alberta Pulse Growers, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Ontario Bean Growers and MPSG ) and Pulse Canada. MPSG was involved in the Pulse Science Cluster in Growing Forward I and it was incredibly encouraging to see the federal funds more than double in our Growing Forward II application. Minister Ritz announced on July 29, 2013 that the Government of Canada will invest up to $15 million in funding, in partnership with the multi-million dollar grower check-off investment, to support the continued development of the Canadian pulse industry. Projects will serve to strengthen the pulse industry by delivering:
- Improved varieties of pulses with superior agronomic, quality and disease-resistance characteristics.
- Support for growers, and improved management practices resulting in maximum yield, minimum disease, efficient use of fertilizers, and farm sustainability
- Enhanced knowledge of pulse ingredient composition, functionality and use in commercial food product applications
- Increased knowledge of the health benefits of pulse consumption, including impact on satiety, food intake, blood sugar control and gut health leading to greater marketing opportunities
Each project was carefully selected by the pulse industry to increase the sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of Canadian pulse crops.
In particular, MPSG is providing funding to seven dry bean projects, two pea projects, one soybean project, one project involving both peas and soybeans, and one project involving both dry beans and soybeans. MPGA’s total contribution towards the Pulse Science Cluster is $225,500 per year for 5 years.
Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster
This is a five-year initiative led by the Canadian Field Crops Research Alliance (CFCRA). The CFCRA is a not-for-profit entity founded in 2010 with an interest in advancing the genetic capacity of field crops in Canada, particularly soybeans, corn, wheat, barley and oats. On September 9, 2013, Minister Ritz announced a federal investment of $7 million for this cluster, which is being funded with $3.3 million of industry dollars.
This cluster focuses on providing Canada’s soybean, corn, oat and barley producers with enhanced genetics for high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties while also addressing the needs of the market for value-added traits that deliver higher levels of nutrition and improved processing attributes.
Targeted outcomes include:
- Soybean, corn, barley and oat lines with improved disease and insect pest resistance and higher sustained yields
- Lines with enhanced processing and health quality characteristics
- Soybean and corn lines adapted to short-season growing regions
- Development of advanced selection tools to improve breeding efficiency and effectiveness
Specifically, MPSG is providing funding of $18,000 per year for 5 years to two activities in the cluster: short season soybean improvement research, including high yields, specialty traits, and identification of resistance to root rots, and the development of very short season herbicide tolerant soybean varieties adapted to the Canadian Prairies. Both projects are being led by Dr. Elroy Cober, research scientist and soybean breeder with AAFC in Ottawa.
CFCRA has been an effective alliance of provincial farm organizations and industry partners, including: Grain Farmers of Ontario; Federation des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Quebec; MPSG; Manitoba Corn Growers Association; Atlantic Grains Council; SeCan Association; PepsiCo Foods Canada, a business unit of PepsiCo Canada ULC; and new for 2013, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers.