New pulse varieties look promising

Fuego remains the top yielding and the top selling spring bean variety on the Recommended List, but there’s plenty of good new spring bean material coming through the breeding system, Keith Fox of Nickerson told a recent PGRO open day.

“Fuego has 90% of the market,” he said. “At 106 for yield, it’s still way ahead of the other choices.”

Memphis and Betty, at 103 and 102 respectively, still have to prove themselves, he said. “They received provisional recommendation for 2008, so we’ll see how they get on. Another recommended variety Ben, is slightly earlier to harvest, so it’s a good choice for the north.”

There were two varieties in last year’s National List trials which yielded 120%, outperforming Fuego with ease, he added. “Its early days, but it shows that growers are going to have plenty of choice in the future.”

As far as peas are concerned, Kahuna and Kabuki still dominate the marrowfats market, noted Mr Fox.

“Falstaff and Sakura are coming through, but we need to get enough samples into the canners so that their suitability can be assessed.”

Of the large blues, Prophet has now overtaken Nitouche. “Crackerjack is the other good large blue, although its downy mildew resistance is not as good.”

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