29 November 1996

Quiet time for peas and beans

WITH just three additions to the PGRO-funded Recommended Lists for pulses, 1997 appears a relatively quiet time for peas and beans.

There are no new spring pea varieties, and the sole candidate for the winter bean list, Vectis, was withdrawn by the breeder.

Merkur, a coloured-flowered spring bean from Nickerson with a yield 4 points above Mars and matching last years addition Maya, is provisionally recommended.

Alpine, from PBI Cambridge, and Avon, from Seed Innovations are white-flowered, low tannin types offering marginal yield lifts over Vasco and the becoming outclassed Caspar.

Avon ripens as early as Victor, and Alpine is earlier than Merkur. All have moderate to good downy mildew resistance.

NIAB has limited information on standing power for all three, and so urges slight caution for the tall-strawed Merkur.

Newly recommended pulses are thin on the ground for 1997. Target, the high yielding winter type provisionally recommended last year, stays on the list, its good standing power having been confirmed.


&#8226 Spring beans:

Merkur (coloured).

Alpine, Avon (white).

&#8226 Winter beans: none.

&#8226 Spring peas: none.