Pulses being studied at the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources in Oct. 2021.
Pulses being studied at the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources in Oct. 2021. (Photo: Carey Shaw/USask)

USask pulse research part of $11 million federal investment

The federal government has announced an investment of up to $11,017,979 to Pulse Canada to support key pulse crop research at institutions across the country — including the University of Saskatchewan (USask) — and to drive the pulse industry forward.

The announcement was made on Friday, Feb. 9 by Ben Carr, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The funding is provided through the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component, which is part of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). The Sustainable CAP is a five-year, $3.5 billion agreement between federal, provincial, and territorial governments to continue building up Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sectors.

“Canadian pulse farmers are vitally important to our economy. This investment will bring together the top experts in pulse growing and research from across the Prairies to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector for generations to come,” MacAulay said in a statement.

Research projects supported by this cluster will target issues of sustainability, disease prevention, and greater yields and profits for pulse growers.

“Canada is a world leader in sustainable pulse production and exportation. These investments in research from the Government of Canada, matched by our sector, will help enhance our resiliency to meet the growing global demand for sustainably grown, high quality pulses and ingredients while making a positive impact on our environment and economy,” Kevin Auch, the chair of Pulse Canada, said in a statement.

USask-led projects that have received support from this funding include:

  • Large Root Systems in Pulses for Drought Tolerance, Carbon Sequestration, and Root Rot Resistance – Dr. Maryse Bourgault (PhD), College of Agriculture and Bioresources
  • Identifying Potential Resistance to Pea Aphids and Aphid Transmitted Viruses in Lentil – Dr. Sean Prager (PhD), College of Agriculture and Bioresources
  • Phenotyping Pulse Crops for Improved Performance Under Climate Change – Dr. Steve Shirtliffe (PhD), College of Agriculture and Bioresources
  • An Integrated Approach for Accelerating Genetic Improvement of Yield and Agronomic Characteristics of Chickpea – Dr. Bunyamin Tar’an (PhD), College of Agriculture and Bioresources
  • Development of Improved Pea Cultivars to Enhance Canada’s Leading Role in International Pea Markets – Dr. Tom Warkentin (PhD), College of Agriculture and Bioresources


Together, we will undertake the research the world needs. We invite you to join by supporting critical research at USask.