Accessing Alberta pulse crop variety data changing in 2020

Changes to the way pulse crop variety data is presented and shared with growers in Alberta has led to some confusion over where to find information on varieties to seed this spring.

For 2020, the Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) provided only one year of data set to the Alberta Seed Growers (ASG), which publishes the province’s annual seed guide, instead of providing a history of regional variety trials (RVT) as has been done with other crops, including pulses, in the past.

APG made the change in an effort to direct producers to their agronomy and RVT app, explains executive director Leanne Fischbuch.

“We’ve had great responses from our farmers saying ‘oh, I didn’t know I could go in and I could look at things intimately down to kind of the area where I live and look at that particular region and assess whatever variety there is in there that could be of interest,’” Fischbuch explains. “So for a grower it’s very specific, you can drill down, you can look at the variety type, it’s against the check, it’s got a whole pile of information on it that’s very visual and easy to access.”

Kelly Chambers, executive director with ASG, says their publication has been a long-standing management tool that provides farmers the tools they need to make decisions for the upcoming seeding season. The Alberta Seed Guide has been the reference point for seed growers, retailers, and farmers to access variety information for the coming seeding season for many years.

“We work hard with so many moving parts and right now we’re working on the pulse data,” Chambers says. “We’re working to fill the gaps in communication on the data set and our goal is to make sure we provide the best possible information to producers and to industry.”

The current version of the paper copy seed guide includes the pulse variety information for the most current year. Chambers says ASG will be putting out a special pulse edition of the seed guide sometime this month, which will include past years’ data.

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