“This year has seen a major re-vamp of the PGRO variety list for pulse growers with a change from Recommended Lists to Descriptive Lists (DL). This change has been echoed by LSPB with new varieties, a new logo and a new web site,” says Chris Guest, LS Plant Breeding Ltd (LSPB) Managing Director.

“The new PGRO 2021 DL continues to show the development of all pulse varieties in the key areas of yield, agronomic characters and marketability, and we are pleased that LSPB varieties once again are a strong part of these developments.”

For spring beans, Lynx, Vertigo and Fanfare continue to be the mainstay of the list with high yields and good agronomic characteristics.

They are joined on the 2021 DL by Macho with the highest thousand seed weight on the list (679 g), and Ghengis which is a high yielding, early maturing variety.

The earliest variety of all on the spring bean DL is Yukon with a highest possible rating (9) added to a very high Downy mildew resistance (8). Its earliness is a clue to Yukon’s apparent low yield on the list – in a farm situation this year it was harvested 14 days before neighbouring fields – a big plus for growers in the borders and Scotland, with yields on par with other varieties in this farm situation.

Also for spring beans, PGRO have a special LVC (low vicine/convicine) category to recognise the market-driven value of such varieties. LSPB’s Victus and Tiffany varieties combine this LVC trait with yields (104 and 101) that are close to the yields of the top varieties on the list (108-106-105). We see a continued development of this market sector with ongoing dialogue with animal feed manufacturers as well as domestic human consumption market outlets to maximise the marketability for the UK grower.

For combining peas, Orchestra is a high yielding yellow pea (formerly called white pea) with high yield and overall good agronomics.

Bluetime is joined by Stroma at the top of the DL for green peas (formerly called large blue peas) with high seed yields and high standing ability plus good resistance to Downy mildew.

Greenwich, Croft and Blueman also offer high yields only a few points below the top varieties, with each bringing different pluses in key characters such as earliness of maturity, standing ability and Downy mildew resistance.

LSPB’s newly-added marrowfat variety Akooma brings an outstanding 11% yield boost over the older varieties on the DL, we see this as a real game changer, subject to end user acceptance in this market segment.

Chris Guest adds, “looking to the future, we have Candidates for the DL already in the pipeline including a new winter bean – and our breeding programme has further varieties in prospect to do our part in developing the UK pulse crop in the future.”