PGRO 2023 Descriptive List demonstrates consistency as well as new potential

The PGRO has announced that seven new pea and bean varieties have been added to its 2023 Descriptive List for pulses, with up to four more to be added at a later date.

The Descriptive List, launched at the end of November at CropTec, offers six new combining peas and one new winter bean, with the possibility of up to four spring beans being included at a later date, pending National Listing. This is more than double the number of new varieties which debuted on the 2022 list.

Despite drought conditions and record temperatures throughout the growing season, trials were conducted successfully and the varieties grown across the country demonstrated impressive consistency in terms of yield and disease resistance.

PGRO senior technical officer Christopher Judge commented: “2022 has been a year with a lot of changes. But, not only have the trials run successfully, but the data produced by the Descriptive List is reassuringly consistent.

“High-yielding varieties have maintained their good performance, and other traits such as disease ratings also retain similar scores to before with the addition of new supporting data. For example, the list now includes a score for downy mildew and rust on winter beans.”

Two yellow combining peas – Glam (bred by Senova) and LG Ajax (Limagrain) – are new additions to the list, while the three new green peas are Butterfly (LS Plant Breeding), KWS Gotham (KWS), and Kiravi (Senova).

New variety of marrowfat variety Takayama (LS Plant Breeding) has made the list, joining as the highest yielder in that category, achieving a 96% yield.

Bonneville (Senova) is the only new winter bean addition to the 2023 list. Its yield is above average at 102%, and it has the second highest protein content on the list.

Spring bean trials suffered in the prolonged hot and dry period in the summer, leading to lower yields than 2021. Four new high-yielding spring bean varieties have performed well, which are Genius and Futura (both LS Plant Breeding), LG Stego (Limagrain) and Focus (Saaten Union), but at the time of writing have not yet received UK National List status, therefore cannot be added to the Descriptive List at this time.

Should National Listing be granted, PGRO will add these varieties to the list which is published at

Combining peas

Kameleon (114%) and Orchestra (111%) remain the top-yielding yellow peas. New addition Glam (Senova) has a yield of 108% and has the latest maturity of the yellow peas.

New addition LG Ajax (Limagrain) has a yield of 103% and has good resistance to powdery mildew.

Carrington remains the top yielding green pea at 115%, while Butterfly (LS Plant Breeding) also performed well with a yield of 109% and has an earlier maturity and larger seed size than Carrington.

KWS Gotham (KWS) and Kiravi (Senova) are both later maturing varieties with competitive yields, 107% and 105% respectively. Within the green category, LG Aviator and Greenwood have resistance to powdery mildew – an increasingly important trait.

Carrington, Bluetime and LG Aviator have the highest downy mildew rating (8).

New variety Takayama (LS Plant Breeding) has become the top-yielding marrowfat with a yield of 96%, 10% more than Sakura. It also has a better downy mildew rating (6) than all the other marrowfats on the DL.

DL beans in flower.

Winter beans

Bonneville (Senova) is the only new winter bean addition to the 2023 list. Its yield is above average at 102%, and it has the second highest protein content on the list.

Ratings for downy mildew in winter beans have been added to the DL. Most varieties have scored a 5 for downy mildew, with Vincent (7) and Norton (6) having higher ratings.

Spring beans

Lynx remains the top yielding variety (107%). It has a good downy mildew rating (7) and has been one of the highest rated varieties since its addition to the list.

Despite having a low yield (92%), Yukon has the best downy mildew rating (9) and is the earliest maturing variety on the list.

Four new high yielding spring bean varieties have performed well. These are Genius and Futura (both LS Plant Breeding), LG Stego (Limagrain) and Focus (Saaten Union). These four new varieties have not yet received UK National List status.

Performance of current and new varieties

According to breeder LS Plant Breeding (LSPB), the latest PGRO DL confirms the performance of its current and newly added pulse varieties for UK growers.

The new DL for spring beans is once again headed by Lynx, which is joined by LSPB’s varieties Ghengis, Victus, Macho, Vertigo and Yukon.

It is worth noting that the LVC variety Victus (low vicine/convicine) is now closing the yield gap with conventional varieties, while Yukon continues to combine the earliest maturity with highest downy mildew on the DL.

Yukon is the earliest maturing variety on the 2023 PGRO Descriptive List for spring beans (DL) with a rating of 8, making it a major contender for growers in the north of England and Scotland in particular.

Yukon also has the highest possible downy mildew resistance rating of 9 on the DL, a clear advantage for all growers – whether in the north or south of the country.

To add to these key agronomic values, Yukon has a very high thousand seed weight (TSW) of 622 giving it excellent marketability by producing a good sample for Egyptian buyers who form the main human consumption export market for UK-grown beans.

This high level of TSW is also a plus for the equally important UK aquaculture market for dehulled beans.

Yukon’s other agronomic characters are its high standing ability at harvest of 8 and its resistance to rust of 5.

The variety’s yield ranking in trials is likely affected by its early maturity as – unlike most farm situations – all varieties in trials, whether early or late maturing, have to be combined together.

Michael Shuldham (pictured), pulses product manager for LSPB, commented: “We believe that Yukon will find a firm place with UK spring bean growers where its benefits will put it alongside its stablemates in our portfolio, such as the market leading variety Lynx, at the top of the PGRO DL.”

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