Processors and Growers Research Organisation’s (PGRO) decision to move from a pea and bean Recommended List (RL) to a Descriptive List (DL) aims to encourage innovation from breeders, free of the knowledge their efforts will not be hampered by the list’s narrow assessment criteria.
Speaking during the 2021 Descriptive List launch, PGRO chief executive, Roger Vickers said the organisation had concluded that the current RL method, which was first established in 1985 to promote productivity and exclude poor varieties, had become ‘outdated and potentially irrelevant’.
He said: “The RL narrowly assesses varieties against certain criteria, with the assumption that those criteria are what the market requires, and a panel of judges then decide if it should get RL approval.
“Varieties with certain characteristics are excluded. Those characteristics may have agronomic or market benefits but are handicapped by not being on the list. We have seen examples of that in the past and increasingly so in a dynamic market that is changing.”
The new list offers an open and inclusive system so varieties coming from the National List will have the opportunity to be described on the list and no judgement will be put forward about their market value, he said.
“It will still be independent, good quality data, but it will be flexible and adaptable, and influenced by the market and the needs and demands of growers.”
In 2020, variety trial yields were well down on 2019, with winter beans suffering the worst. Control yields were 2.72 tonnes per hectare for peas, 3.68 t/ha for spring beans and 2.67 t/ha for winter beans.
For yellow/white combining peas, the variety Kameleon topped the yield rankings with 120 per cent, closely followed by Orchestra at 115 per cent. New to the list for 2021 are Kaiman and Raider.
New additions for 2021 green/blue peas are Stroma, Kiravi, Greenway and Mikka. Year 4 variety, Kactus emerged top of the yield rankings at 112 per cent, closely followed by Bluetime and Stroma at 111 per cent.
Marrowfat variety, Akooma is new to the 2021 list with a yield of 97 per cent.
Winter bean variety choice remains largely unchanged, with Vespa still the top yielding variety at 109 per cent.
Vincent and Norton are new high-yielding additions to the list, subject to confirmed National List (NL) status.
Seven varieties were new to the 2021 spring bean varieties list including Stella, Capri and Daisy. Stella is the top yielding variety with a yield of 108 per cent, just ahead of the highest yielding year 5 variety, Lynx.
Victus and Tiffany have reached five-year status for 2021, yielding 104 and 101 per cent of controls respectively. LG Viper, LG Sphinx, Bolivia and Allison will be added to the electronic versions of the list, subject to confirmed NL status.