Science Into Practice - Broad bean variety trials

Before HDC project FV 369 "Broad bean: evaluation of varieties" was commissioned, there had been no independent evaluation of broad bean varieties for more than a decade in the UK and none of the new varieties introduced over that time had been compared on performance with older ones.

Shona Johnson of the Processors & Growers Research Organisation is currently testing a range of broad bean varieties to generate information that will help growers improve both yield and quality. The trials are targeting both freezing and fresh markets, which have different criteria, and will also identify varieties with the best disease tolerance.

The evaluation looked at a wide range of performance areas, such as earliest breeds to mature, those with the highest yield, number of pods per plant, percentage of beans to whole pods and difference in length of snag attachment.

Of the 12 varieties evaluated, it was found that Suprifin and Statissa were the highest yielding, Listra had the highest number of pods per plant and Monica and Witkiem Manita were the earliest to mature.

With varietal selection a key element of broad bean crop production, ensuring a programmed harvest period and to maintain high-quality produce, the findings will help producers correctly integrate broad beans into drilling and harvesting programmes.


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