Yield management of pulse crops in Manitoba

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Peters, Eric Edward
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The production of pulse crops such as field peas, lentils and faba beans in Manitoba is considered to be riskier than production of the more traditional crops such as wheat, oats, barley, flax and canola. A lack of adequate information about pulse production is one reason why pulses are considered to have a high risk of production. The goal of this study is to enhance the level of knowledge about pulse crop management practices for the further development of a crop management strategy for Manitoba pulse producers. A two stage process is used to achieve this goal. First, a production model for Manitoba field pea, lentil and faba bean producers is developed using available scientific and agronomic information. Second, the production model is subjected to Ordinary Least Squares regression analysis, using Manitoba Crop Insurance Corporation (MCIC) data and other information sources, to estimate the marginal physical product of certain factor inputs and determine which factor inputs have the greatest effect on yield. Parameters representing the duration of the vegetative growth phase and the duration of the reproductive growth phase are approximated and included in the production model. The first main conclusion of this study is that the time of planting has a significant effect on the yield of field peas and lentils. In certain cases, a positive logarithmic relationship is observed between the duration of the growth phases and yield. Within the field pea and/or lentil producer's decision framework, the time of planting significantly influences the length of the growth phases which in turn effects yield. The second conclusion of this study was that producers who applied high rates of nitrogen fertilizer to their field pea and lentil crops, as opposed to Rhizobium inoculation, appreciated a positive effect on yield. A final conclusion of this study regards the quality of the MCIC data base as a general information source for production economics research. The experience of this study suggests that the MCIC data base has limited value for any comprehensive empirical research in the area of crop production economics.