Research Project

Investigating the agronomics of lupin production, a new high protein pulse crop for Alberta.

Lupin is a pulse legume grain crop with the highest protein content of all pulse crops grown in Alberta.

How will this research help accelerate Alberta’s agriculture industry?

With increasing global demand for plant protein products and new pulse fractionation plants opening across the prairies, there is a market for plant based high protein crops. As such, lupin has the potential to be a profitable pulse crop option for Alberta.

This project will investigate the following;

1) the adaptability of lupin species in three climatic area and identify high performing cultivars

2) disease and insect pest threats and the use of commercial products to manage them

3) herbicide weed management options

4) product application and timing of commercial preharvest dry down products. The information collected will be extended to industry and producers to promote the growth of the pulse industry in Alberta.

Why did RDAR invest in this research project?

This project targets the Alberta crop production industry by providing a nitrogen fixing, high protein pulse crop. The sustainability of cropping systems can be improved by increasing diversity and incorporating pulse crops.

Pulses are particularly important in human nutrition as sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are well-known for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen which helps reduce energy consumption while making them particularly suitable for low-input systems. They are also a source of diversification in order to break disease, pest and weed cycles and optimize nutrient management in standard crop rotations. Recently, pulse crops have gained special interest, as a transition towards plant-protein based diets which are pivotal to ensure global food security and preserve the environment.

This research project investigates the agronomic factors and threats in the production of an additional crop to increase pulse acres in Alberta. Pulses in production systems increase soil health, tilth and organic matter; promote minimum till operations; lower fertilizer and pesticide inputs; improve water use efficiency; decrease the farm carbon footprint; and improve plant health through rotation.

How will research knowledge be transferred and shared with producers?

Knowledge from this research will impact the Alberta pulse production industry through the transfer of information obtained on new high
protein lupin cultivars, an alternative pulse crop option, and highlighting agronomic practices for successfully economic lupin production in
different agronomic areas.

Information from this project will be transferred to producers and the pulse industry during yearly western Canadian conferences, trade
shows, workshops, seed grower tours, grower meetings, crop walks, field days and research updates. Newspaper and magazine articles, webcasts and radio media will also be utilized to transfer project findings.