Descriptive list beans

The Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) has today added seven new pea and bean varieties to its 2023 Descriptive List for pulses.


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.


The Descriptive List, launched today at CropTec in Peterborough, has 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 amount of new varieties which debuted on the 2022 list.


PGRO Senior Technical Officer Christopher Judge said: “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.  Hopefully the new varieties added to the list are also stable and reliable in the years to come.


“Dry conditions in April impacted initial growth of spring-sown crops, but rainfall in April wasn’t as low as in 2020 and 2021. The summer heatwaves led to early harvesting of most crops, with the first pea trial – in Essex – being harvested on 18 July, which is 17 days earlier than in 2021. On average spring bean trials were harvested 23 days earlier than in 2021. But the high temperatures and dry conditions did help to reduce levels of powdery mildew.”


The Descriptive List gives growers the opportunity to compare different varieties and evaluate which will suit their situation. Promising new material from plant breeders is regularly submitted and those which suit the market and have traits of interest are likely to be supported and available for purchase in the future.


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).


A new variety of Marrowfat has made the list; Takayama (LS Plant Breeding), and has become the highest yielder in that category, achieving a 96% yield.


Most winter bean trials established well with better conditions for winter drilling than the past few years. 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, 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 can not 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


A video presentation of this year’s trials and its results is available on YouTube here.



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%.
  • 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 maturating 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).
  • Mantara and Rose remain the only two maple peas on the DL, with both having good resistance to downy mildew.
  • New variety Takayama (LS Plant Breeding) becomes the top yielding marrowfat with a yield of 96%, 10% more than Sakura.
  • Takayama has thousand seed weight of 350g, a smaller seed size than Sakura. It also has a better downy mildew rating (6) than all the other marrowfats on the DL.
  • Akooma and Octavia remain on the DL.


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.
  • Vespa continues to have the top yield, achieving 111% of control, with Vincent performing second best at 108%.
  • 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.
  • Rust on winter beans has also been added to the DL.


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.
  • Maris Bead, the only bean on the list with a black hilum, has the same downy mildew rating as Lynx (7).
  • Four new high yielding spring bean varieties have performed well. The varieties are Genius, Futura (Both LS Plant Breeding), LG Stego (Limagrain) and Focus (Saaten Union).
  • These four new varieties have not yet received UK National List status.




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