The prospect of a bumper crop of pulses for southeastern Alberta farmers has melted somewhat under the blazing heat dome that covered the province over the past two weeks.
While pulse crops include fava and soy beans, lentils and dry peas are the primary types grown in the region.
According to the executive director of Alberta Pulse Growers, the timing of this year’s heat will likely affect yields.
“When it gets too hot, the flowers get blasted,” said Leanne Fischbuch, adding the heat came just as the blooms popped.
The heat has left dry peas’ growth stunted, ranging from 12 to 14 inches tall, with only two or three pods, said Fischbuch.
Lentils aren’t fairing much better.
The heat descending on the area, “will be a factor in the end for yields,” she said.
The conditions come a year after one of the larger production years for pulses in southern Alberta which have seen a growing number of farmers in the region.
But Fischbuch says Alberta Pulse Growers are continuing to promote the crop, “on every farm and every plate,” as, “the demand both global and domestic is increasing.”
The association will be watching the issues with transportation in the coming months as fires in B.C. begin to affect rail traffic and COVID has seen containerized shipping disrupted.
ALEX MCCUAIG, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News