Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) is a short,shallowly rooted dicot with a self-pollinated and indeterminate growth pattern(Al Thahabi et al.
, 1994). This crop is often slow to emerge after seeding and coupled with theshort stature and slow early season vigor is a poor competitor against weeds (Ermanet al., 2008). As an indeterminate cropmeaning the lentil will continue to grow until unfavorable growing conditionsstress the crop into senescence, lentil varieties in Saskatchewan tend to growto a height of approximately 30 to 45 cm (Slinkardand Vandenberg, 2014).
Lentil have hypogeal germination which canhelp protect the plants in the ground before emergence in the case of freezingtemperatures (Muehlbauer et al., 1985). Temperature seeding date, andprecipitation can greatly affect the days until maturity of lentil (Saxena,2009). New nodes are produced every three to five days after germination withthe first true leaf beginning at the third node (McVicar et al., 2017). Floweringbegins around the 11-13 node stage, depending on the environmental conditions (Slinkard and Vandenberg, 2014). Lentil classification is based on severalfactors including: seed size, seed coat and cotyledon colour and can exhibitgreat variation among cultivars (McNeil et al. 2007; Sandhu et al.
, 2007). Lentil is normally distinguishedbetween two class types: large seeded (macrosperma)Chilean lentil and small to seeded (microsperma)Persian, with theformer having a thousand-seed weight of greater than 60 grams and the laterwith a thousand seed-weight of less than 40 grams (Alberta Pulse Growers, 2017;Muehlbauer etal., 2009; Saskatchewan Ministry ofAgriculture, 2010). Furthermore, lentil is also classified byseed coat colour with varieties either being of the red or green class lentil(Ghosh et al.
, 2007; Saxena, 2009; Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, 2010).Within Western Canada,lentil is grown within a crop rotation to improve economic returns toproducers, minimize the nitrogen fertilizer requirements, diversify and increasecrop rotations (McVicar et al., 2017).
Globally, Canada is the leading producer of lentils production(Bekkering, 2015), with India importing much of Saskatchewan’s lentil exports(over 1,000,000 tonnes) as it is the world’s largest consumer (Government ofSaskatchewan, 2015).