The Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) has added seven new pea and bean varieties to its 2023 Descriptive List for pulses.
Despite drought conditions and record temperatures throughout the season, trials were conducted successfully and the varieties grown across the country demonstrated impressive consistency.
The Descriptive List, which was launched at CropTec, has six new combining peas and one new winter bean variety, with the possibility of four spring beans being included at a later date, pending National Listing.
PGRO senior technical officer Christopher Judge said: “2022 has been a year with a lot of changes. But, not only have the trials run successfully, but the data produced by the Descriptive List is reassuringly consistent.
“High-yielding varieties have maintained their good performance, and other traits such as disease ratings also retain similar scores to before with the addition of new supporting data. For example, the list now includes a score for downy mildew and rust on winter beans. Hopefully, the new varieties added to the list are also stable and reliable in the years to come.
“Dry conditions in April impacted the initial growth of spring-sown crops, but rainfall in April wasn’t as low as in 2020 and 2021. The summer heatwaves led to early harvesting of most crops, with the first pea trial – in Essex – being harvested on 18 July, which is 17 days earlier than in 2021. On average spring bean trials were harvested 23 days earlier than in 2021. But the high temperatures and dry conditions did help to reduce levels of powdery mildew.”
The List enables growers to compare different varieties and evaluate which will suit their conditions. Material from plant breeders is regularly submitted and those which suit the market and have interesting traits are likely to be supported.
Two yellow combining peas – Glam (bred by Senova) and LG Ajax (Limagrain) – are new additions to the list, while the three new green peas are Butterfly (LS Plant Breeding), KWS Gotham (KWS), and Kiravi (Senova).
Also making the list is a new variety of Marrowfat. Takayama (LS Plant Breeding) has become the highest yielder in that category, achieving a 96% yield.
Most winter beans established well, with better conditions for winter drilling than in the past few years. Bonneville (Senova) is the only new addition to the 2023 list, with an above-average yield of 102% and the second-highest protein content on the list.
Spring bean trials suffered in the prolonged hot and dry period, leading to lower yields. Four new high-yielding varieties performed well; Genius, Futura (both LS Plant Breeding), LG Stego (Limagrain) and Focus (Saaten Union). However, these are yet to receive UK National List status.
- Kameleon (114%) and Orchestra (111%) remain the top-yielding yellow peas.
- New addition Glam (Senova) has a yield of 108% and has the latest maturity of the yellow peas.
- New addition LG Ajax (Limagrain) has a yield of 103% and has good resistance to powdery mildew.
- Carrington remains the top-yielding green pea at 115%.
- Butterfly (LS Plant Breeding) also performed well with a yield of 109% and has an earlier maturity and larger seed size than Carrington.
- KWS Gotham (KWS) and Kiravi (Senova) are both later maturating varieties with competitive yields, 107% and 105% respectively.
- Within the green category, LG Aviator and Greenwood have resistance to powdery mildew, an increasingly important trait.
- Carrington, Bluetime and LG Aviator have the highest downy mildew rating (8).
- Mantara and Rose remain the only two maple peas on the DL, with both having good resistance to downy mildew.
- New variety Takayama (LS Plant Breeding) becomes the top-yielding marrowfat with a yield of 96%, 10% more than Sakura.
- Takayama has thousand seed weights of 350g, a smaller seed size than Sakura. It also has a better downy mildew rating (6) than all the other marrowfats on the DL.
- Akooma and Octavia remain on the DL.
- Bonneville (Senova) is the only new winter bean addition to the 2023 list. Its yield is above average at 102% and it has the second highest protein content on the list.
- Vespa continues to have the top yield, achieving 111% of control, with Vincent performing second best at 108%.
- Ratings for downy mildew in winter beans have been added to the DL. Most varieties have scored a 5 for downy mildew, with Vincent (7) and Norton (6) having higher ratings.
- Rust on winter beans has also been added to the DL.
- Lynx remains the top-yielding variety (107%). It has a good downy mildew rating (7) and has been one of the highest-rated varieties since its addition to the list.
- Despite having a low yield (92%), Yukon has the best downy mildew rating (9) and is the earliest maturing variety on the list.
- Maris Bead, the only bean on the list with a black hilum, has the same downy mildew rating as Lynx (7).
- Four new high-yielding spring bean varieties have performed well. The varieties are Genius, Futura (Both LS Plant Breeding), LG Stego (Limagrain) and Focus (Saaten Union).
The full list is available at www.pgro.org