The Saskatchewan Pulse Growers have been busy with Regional Meetings this week in Rosetown, Swift Current, Assiniboia, and Regina.

Producers got a market update as well as an update on some of the breeding programs at the Crop Development Centre; they learned more about issues around kochia, root rot, herbicide carryover, and potential insect concerns.

Executive Director Carl Potts gave producers an update on the organization noting that for 2019-20 the levy of point 67 will remain the same.

“At a time where growers are facing a reduced income for pulses, we didn’t feel it was the right time to go higher. As we look forward to investments that we might make in support of breeding going forward, we’ll make some determinations in terms of what needs are with respect to breeding, and other investments and determine whether or not we’ll continue at a .67% (levy).”

Saskatchewan pulse exports have dropped by 40% as a result of a good crop in India and current tariffs; that also resulted in a 40% drop in pulse income for producers and the organization.

Potts says they made significant cuts in their budget but did not cut funds already committed to research and development.

He notes the organization has also been working towards their goal of increasing pulse demand  20% by 2025, which would translate into two million tonnes of new demand.

“This is part of our strategy to diversify markets, to create new demand so that we’re not quite as reliant on some of the large traditional commodity suppliers. We’ll still supply those countries and supply them competitively when they need to import. Building more demand that’s maybe closer to home, a little bit less price sensitive markets and in other places is maybe a good risk management strategy.”

He notes it’s something they’ve been working on but they're putting even more effort into it now.

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