FIVE NEW pea varieties – three white types, one large blue and one marrowfat – have joined the 2005 NIAB/PGRO Recommended List. There are also two new spring beans.

Topping the trio of white types and the pea yield rankings is Advanta Seeds” French-bred Bilbo, with 4% more yield than last year’s newcomer Beetle. It stands well and has moderate downy mildew resistance, says NIAB”s Simon Kightley.

The same firm”s Alezan yields 2% less and is taller and weaker, so may suit less lodging-prone land.

Sioux, Saaten Union’s German-bred offering, yields the same as Beetle and stands very well. “It also has a large grain, which is sometimes required by the dried pea, human consumption markets.” Cooper is a German large blue from Cebeco Seed Innovations. It outyields Nitouche by 11% and stands equally well, having the large grain preferred by micronisers, but is less resistant to downy mildew.

Orka, Dalgety”s Danish marrowfat, is only 1% adrift of Kahuna on output, and expands options in the “difficult-to-grow but high value” sector, says Mr Kightley.

Ben, Cebeco’s new spring bean, matches the top yield and is 1% ahead of the best white smooth-skinned export type, Syncro.

Fuego, from the same stable, is a very high yielder, but is not National Listed, so cannot be commercialised yet, he explains.

Winter bean Wizard is now fully recommended.

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