Pulse Research AS pulse acres in Alberta continue to rise, so does Alberta Pulse Growers’ (APG) investment in research, with $9 million tied up in more than 40 projects. The province’s 6,000 pulse growers support the non-profit organization through a levy on pulse sales. The money raised is used to fund many initiatives, including marketing, extension, advocacy and administrative activities. However, research is the organization’s cornerstone, says Leanne Fischbuch, APG’s executive director. “Research is a key aspect of everything we do with our organization for our growers,” she says. “We’re focused on doing the right research — the research that will work for us and our industry.” Research initiatives are aimed at growing genetics, yield and sustainability in pulse production, and crop utilization and health benefits are also focus areas. These five research divisions provide a balance of grower- and consumer-focused research, says Fischbuch, because building demand for pulse products is as vital as improving yields. The organization proportionately reinvests in the pulse crops Alberta producers are growing, says D’Arcy Hilgartner, APG’s chair. “We try to allocate based on where our levy dollars are flowing from,” he says. “Because we’re a producer-funded commodity commission, we try to be very reflective of the needs and wants of our producers.” And as an Alberta pulse producer, Hilgartner has a vested interest in where APG invests its research money. “It’s my money — it’s producer money,” says Hilgartner. “We’re all producers around that table, so we’re aware we need to be very responsible about how we spend our money. We want to give producers the best bang for their buck, addressing their concerns and their needs,” he says. Growing Genetics Many Canadian institutions and organizations are currently carrying out pulse research for APG, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF), University of Alberta (U of A), University of Toronto, University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Food Processing Development Centre, Farming Smarter and Western Ag Innovations. According to Fischbuch, APG consistently funds research on genetic improvement, a top priority for the organization. At Alberta Pulse Growers invest millions in pulse research. Where do those dollars go, and why? Research Pulse Taking APG’s APG consistently funds research on genetic improvement. Photo courtesy D’Arcy Hilgartner 32 www.seed.ab.ca | Advancing Seed in Alberta