Pulse Beat Individual Articles

Forging New Paths For Research

Cassandra Tkachuk, Research Project Manager, MPSG

Pulse Beat 96, Fall/Winter 2022


The Pulse Root Rot Network (PRRN) is a new initiative MPSG has been involved with in 2022. This network was launched by the three western Canadian pulse organizations – Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers. According to the National Pulse Research Strategy, discussed in the spring 2022 issue of Pulse Beat, root disease was identified as one of the top priorities to tackle to protect Canadian pulse production.

The mission of this network is to eradicate the risk of root rot in pulses. In the near-term, the focus will be on connecting farmers, agronomists, researchers and funders to tackle the issues of Aphanomyces euteiches and Fusarium spp. in peas and lentils. From a Manitoba standpoint, our wish is to expand the network over time to include soybeans and dry beans as well.

A two-day, virtual workshop called the Root Rot Rodeo was held this  past June, which saw approximately 35 participants who were separated into agronomy, breeding/genetics and pathology breakout rooms. Each breakout group discussed current root rot research projects that are nearing completion and identified three levels of research priorities: 1) the quick wins that yield applicable results within a year or two, 2) the short-term approaches which produce results over the next five years and 3) long-term approaches that will take more than five years to offer meaningful results. These discussions laid the groundwork on how to proceed with root rot research in western Canada.

The next steps for the PRRN are still evolving. So far, we have secured a website domain, rootrot.ca, to house any information developed by this network moving forward. The site is not yet ready to go, but our goal is to make it a one-stop-shop of root rot information. The PRRN also plans to hold annual meetings where stakeholders can connect and share information. The plan is to host a session at the next Canadian Pulse Research Workshop in Windsor, Ontario from February 19-22, 2023.


MPSG has recently become involved with the Manitoba Crop Alliance’s (MCA) Whole Farm Research program, along with the Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA), to participate in reviews of proposed research. This program was created by MCA to approach research from a whole-farm, cross-commodity perspective, recognizing the needs of diverse cropping systems across Manitoba. Our collaboration with other Manitoba commodity organizations is common, but this program offers a more formalized platform for us to routinely meet to discuss research priorities and co-funding opportunities.

Research priorities that fit well under the Whole Farm umbrella include crop rotations, soil health, cover crops, intercrops, pest management and water management. The goal is to issue a call for letters of intent each year through this program to see what ideas researchers have cooking and assess how we can collaborate. And of course, matching dollars will be sought wherever possible.

So far through Whole Farm, MPSG has co-funded with MCA and MCGA the continuation of a crop rotation study led by Dr. Ramona Mohr (AAFC- Brandon), looking at the agronomic, economic and environmental performance of soybeans, peas, wheat and canola grown in different rotations in western Manitoba. And moving forward, any future extremes of moisture projects beyond the previous Canadian Agricultural Partnership umbrella project will be assessed through this program. Projects slated to begin in 2023 are currently
under consideration.


MPSG has taken new steps to build research capacity in western Manitoba through our $200K contribution to in the Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Prairie Innovation Centre and subsequent launch of the Spray and Weigh Testing Program through this centre in 2022.

Spray and Weigh is an applied research program designed to answer farmers’ questions on product comparisons, in pursuit of maximum protection against pest pressure and the best return on investment. We started small this year with two field pea fungicide trials at Roblin and Portage, coordinated by Baljeet Singh, ACC instructor.

We have also funded another project led by Baljeet Singh, on the development of a weather-based fungicide application decision support tool for managing white mould in dry beans in western Manitoba.

In eastern Manitoba, we have also contributed $200K to the University of Manitoba Prairie Crops and
Soils Research Facility. This facility will allow Agricultural and Food Sciences students and faculty to conduct their research in a high- quality environment, which will lead to improved quantity, quality and efficiency of sample (seed, soil and plant) processing.


With the close of the present federal- provincial five-year funding cycle, we have been deeply involved in reviewing the various research projects proposed for a spring 2023 start. This includes everything from projects submitted to the federal Agri-Science Clusters, including the soybean, pulse and integrated crop agronomy clusters, projects submitted to Genome Prairie and those initiated individually by MPSG based on our highest research priorities. We look forward to showcasing the suite of projects that we will be co-funding over the coming year.