USask PhD student dedicates research on reducing fertilizer

Nov 22, 2022

Loveleen Dhillon is a University of Saskatchewan PhD student that has dedicated her doctoral research to investing how to improve nitrogen fixation to optimize pea crop yields in Canada.

Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plant growth and development in agriculture.

Did you know that Canada is the top producer and exporter of field peas in the world? Saskatchewan is home to 64% of pea growing area.

Dhillon’s study examines how nodules on the roots of the pea plant hold onto nitrogen and investigates possible genetic combinations of pea varieties that can be bred to increase this ability. 

Peas are a staple in many diets and are appearing more frequently in products such as plant-based meat substitutes and bakery goods as a strong source of protein and fibre.

Achieving higher nitrogen fixation in pea plants without reducing seed yield makes peas an attractive and profitable choice in Western Canadian cropping systems.

Dhillon’s research includes benefits such as:

  • the potential to reduce dependance on chemical fertilizers
  • to improve soil health
  • to reduce crop production cost
  • to increase protein content of pea seeds

The research is supported by the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, and the Western Grains Research Foundation.

Source : Small Farm Canada
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