Some Prairie pulses’ limited releases under review

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers wants your opinion on how they release pulse varieties through exclusive tenders.

The grower group contributes levy funds to the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre pulse breeding program. In return, Sask Pulse holds exclusive commercial rights to varieties developed in the program.

Most new varieties are released royalty-free to seed growers through the variety release program. By distributing new and better varieties, Sask Pulse aims to grow the industry. Nationally-recognized select seed growers can request breeder seed as long as their provincial pulse groups have an agreement with Sask Pulse.

“To date, 115 varieties have been released through the variety release program,” a Sask Pulse release said Friday. The variety release program (VRP) includes peas, chickpeas, beans, faba beans and lentils.

But varieties that don’t have an established market would likely fail if released through this program, Sask Pulse said. For such varieties, the group instead considers offering exclusive rights through its tender release program (TRP).

Sask Pulse takes into account several factors before deciding whether to tender the rights to a market class or variety, from demand and product volume to whether it risks disrupting markets already supplied by Saskatchewan growers.

Seven of those tender agreements will sunset in 2017 and 2018. Before deciding whether to renew the tenders or release the varieties more broadly, Sask Pulse is looking for feedback from farmers and other stakeholders.

The grower group will also examine “performance of the tender partners to date, prospects for growth and an assessment of the need for exclusivity for the market class or variety to succeed,” the release said.

The tenders up for review include:

  • Large Red Lentil (KR-1, KR-2 CL) – AGT Foods/Saskcan
  • Spanish Brown Lentil (CDC SB-1, CDC SB-2, CDC SB-3 CL – Simpson Seeds
  • Green Cotyledon Lentil (QG1, QG2, QG3 CL) – AGT Foods/Saskcan
  • Large Seeded Food Grade Faba Bean (FB9-4) – AGT Foods/Saskcan
  • Yellow Bean (CDC Sol) – Scoular Canada (formerly Legumex Walker)
  • Black Bean (CDC Jet, CDC SuperJet, Blackstrap, Blackcomb) – Scoular Canada (formerly Legumex Walker) and Martens Seeds
  • Slow to Darken Pinto Beans (WMI, WMII) – Scoular Canada (formerly Legumex Walker) and Keg Agro

The deadline for providing input is Friday, June 3. Growers and others can throw in their two cents through an online survey.

More information on the tender release program is available on the Sask Pulse website.

Lisa Guenther is a field editor for Grainews and Country Guide at Livelong, Sask. Follow her at @LtoG on Twitter.

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