Arable News

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New winter bean set to knock stalwart variety off top spot

High yielding winter bean offering a pale hilum colour has been introduced by Limagrain UK

A new, high yielding winter bean offering a pale hilum colour and potentially suitable for the premium export market for human consumption, has been introduced by plant breeding company Limagrain UK.
Tundra is the highest yielding winter bean up for recommendation this autumn.
Currently in second year recommendation at P2, and due for full recommendation this autumn, Tundra (106 per cent yield over control) offers growers a nine per cent step up in yield over market stalwart Wizard.
“Often with new pulse varieties offering higher yields we see these yields settle down after a while – however the arrival of Tundra bucks this trend,” says Limagrain UK senior pulse breeder, Milika Buurman. “Over a four year mean to 2014, PGRO Recommended List data shows an average yield for Tundra at 104, however after harvest 2014 the yield went up to 106 – so we see a variety that is offering an increasing yield over time, not a lower yield!”
She adds that, agronomically, the variety will fit well on farm, as we have seen with Wizard, as it offers a similar level of ratings for earliness of ripening (8), shortness of straw (8) and standing power (7).
Tundra is the first in a new line of winter beans from Limagrain’s pulse breeding programme, based at Docking in Norfolk, with varieties Thor and Saracen following behind in first year recommendation at P1, both of which are also higher yielding than Wizard.
Trials from 2014 show that Thor offers better standing power than Wizard even with the higher yields, and Saracen has a similar rating of 7 for standing power, but again with the higher yield.
“So we are now in a position where we have the three highest yielding winter bean varieties with strong agronomic features, on the PGRO RL list.”
It is an exciting time for pulse growers who are looking to include winter beans in their rotation either to meet the five per cent EFA requirement in CAP greening, or as a solution for dealing with black-grass infestations, as these new varieties offer a real step change in yield offerings, while market demand is increasing as new markets are emerging notes Ms Buurman.
“While 2016 is the International Year of the Pulses, we are already seeing increasing interest in the levels of beans used for both fish and pig feeds within the remit of the beans for feeds project. Breweries are looking at using pulses for beer production, with the first bean-based beer on the market from Barneys Beer. There is also growing interest in pulses as a gluten free food for coeliacs.”

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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