This autumn sees four new additions to the pulses Recommended Lists (RL), while two breakthrough spring beans added last year have won support from the valuable export market.
Two of the new additions are peas, the first being the large blue Campus. Stephen Belcher, PGRO principal technical officer points out that Campus just pips Crackerjack as the top-yielding variety on the list at 103% and combines a very high score (8) for standing ability with a moderate rating for downy mildew resistance.
Fully recommended maple peas Mantara and Rose are joined by the second new addition, Rainbow. “Rainbow gives similar yields to Rose, but with bigger seed having a thousand seed weight of 283g compared with 231g for Rose. Pea colour is different to either Rose or Mantara.”
In the marrowfat category Sakura, Neon and Genki remain fully recommended varieties, while Bibao moves from P1 to P2 recommendation. There are no changes in the white pea category.
Moving to winter beans, Honey now joins Wizard in the pale hilum category, as a fully recommended variety, while Sultan moves from fully recommended to outclassed. The third newcomer is Tundra, which is the highest yielder in this pale category and has a good all round agronomic package, but seed is a little smaller than Wizard.
In the black hilum (feed bean) category, Clipper and Arthur remain fully recommended varieties and the fourth new addition is Buzz. It is a little lower yielding than Clipper or Arthur and sits between these two for earliness and shortness of straw. Standing ability is better, however, and it also has a very large thousand seed weight of 710g, he says.
In the spring bean list, there are no new additions but “the two new high yielding varieties newly recommended in 2012 have not let us down in 2103,” says Mr Belcher.
Vertigo tops the list at 109%, significantly out-yielding firm favourite and market leader Fuego (98%), while Fanfare is a little behind Vertigo at (105%). However Mr Belcher adds that downy mildew resistance for these varieties is lower (4) compared with Fury, Pyramid (6) and Babylon (7).
“Fanfare is likely to prove popular with growers, given its excellent yield score, good standing ability and earliness.”
Theo Labuda, LS Plant Breeding managing director
Fanfare and Vertigo have also received the green light from exporters meaning growers will not only secure top yields, but the best prices too.
Fanfare is being commercially launched this spring, and LS Plant Breeding (LSPB) managing director Theo Labuda expects strong demand. “Fanfare is likely to prove popular with growers, given its excellent yield score, good standing ability and earliness,” he says.
“It also provides access to valuable export markets – we’ve heard very favourable reports from Egypt, the key market for UK beans, and the variety scooped the British Edible Pulses Association award in 2012 for the best human consumption bean. We’ve plenty of C2 seed available to meet expected demand.”
Paul Nickerson of seed wholesaler Ebbage Seeds predicts a big shift in bean sales, starting this spring. “The market is changing. Fuego’s dominant position is now over and Fanfare is very much part of managing that change. We believe this LSPB programme will take a minimum of 50% market share by 2015.”
Like Fuego before them, both varieties are set to make a big impact on the premium-earning human consumption export market. Although Fanfare’s thousand seed weight of 511 is slightly lower than Fuego’s 537 it has impressed overseas buyers.
Vertigo is also assured a good future on the export markets. Its TSW of 545 is the highest of all the coloured flowered spring beans on the RL.
Frontier’s Andy Bury says his customers in Egypt were very pleased with the variety. “In their view Vertigo beans look to be an excellent replacement for Fuego,” he adds.