Winter bean choices include a variety that beats the market leader

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A high-yielding winter bean variety that offers a 10% yield increase over the current market leader should benefit bean growers next season as commercial availability expands.

The variety, called Vespa, offers improved holding capacity and larger seed size than the main variety Tundra, with a yield potential of 109% versus 99% on the Processors and Growers Research Organization (PGRO) descriptive list. of this year.

As the popularity of pulses continues to increase and markets remain strong, variety is certainly something growers should consider when making crop choices next season.

See also: Fight rust and chocolate stains in beans after chlorothalonil

A good all-rounder

Tom Yewbrey, seed sales manager at seed breeder Senova, explains that the variety is a good all-rounder, which performs well in all soil types. “The Vespa has a high yield, with good agronomic characteristics, which makes it very suitable for both growers and traders,” he says.

It has better standing ability, longer straw length, and a thousand kernel weight higher than Tundra, but with very similar agronomic characteristics, he says.

With an 8 for standing ability, it shares the highest lodging resistance score with the Honey variety, despite being the second largest variety on the list after Bumble. “With good protein content, large seeds and a pale hilum also offered, it is suitable for both feed and export markets,” adds Yewbrey.

The only pitfall, he admits, is its slightly later maturity than tundra (5 vs. 6), but that difference is minimal and will only affect growers in northern England and Scotland, where honey is recommended instead, due to its earlier ripening characteristic. .

Consistent performance

Steve Belcher, Senior Technical Manager of PGRO, talks about the good overall performance of Vespa, where test data over the past two years shows a particularly good run, while Tundra’s performance has started to decline. “It’s unusual for a high yielding strain to maintain such a consistent performance, but the Vespa seems to hold up well,” he says.

Although he has been on the descriptive list since 2018, he believes the Vespa will only gain popularity now that seed supplies have become more commercially available. “Tundra is currently the variety with the largest acreage planted in the UK, replacing Wizard, which was once the variety of choice. It will now be Vespa and Tundra who will compete for first place.

New varieties for 2021

Steve Belcher of PGRO presents two new varieties added to the Descriptive List 2021: Vincent and Norton. “Although seeds are limited, these varieties are definitely one to watch out for, showing real potential in testing,” he says.

Vincent offers exceptional yield potential, now classified as the most productive variety, with a yield percentage of 110%. It also provides a very large thousand-seed weight, which processors are increasingly looking for because of the higher bean-to-skin ratio associated with it, says Belcher.

With a 28.1% higher protein percentage – compared to other varieties which range between 25.9 and 26% – Vincent is expected to prove popular for the feed and export markets. In addition, this is a later maturing variety with a pale hilum with tall, stiff straw and good holding capacity.

The second addition to the list is Norton, a high yielding pale hilum variety with a 107% yield percentage.

It ripens early and is suitable for all areas including the wetter areas of the UK and the North. It has good holding capacity and particularly large seeds.

Winter beans – PGRO 2021 descriptive list

Yield (% control)

Early maturity (1-9)

Straw length (cm)

Standing capacity at harvest (1-9)

Thousand Seed Weight (g)

Protein content (%)

NEW: Vincent

110

4

129

7

849

28.1

Vespa

109

5

126

8

686

26.1

NEW: Norton

107

7

125

7

726

26.2

buzz

104

4

132

6

703

25.6

Tundra

99

6

119

7

650

26.0

Wizard

96

6

122

7

682

26.4

Darling

92

7

116

8

699

25.9

• Yield control is the average of 4 and 5 year old varieties (4.54 t / ha)
• Differences in yield of less than 9.9% are not statistically different.


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