Winter bean Variety Choice - October 2015
2015 trials have given us some very good data this year with decent yields being achieved over a range of soil types in different geographical regions.
Top of the RL trials this season is Arthur, a medium strawed black hilum feed type. We had favoured Buzz over Arthur in previous years due to its stiffer straw, however there may now be a resurgence in demand for Arthur.
Buzz is a good alternative for the feed market and has again yielded well in our own trials, there is limited seed availability for Buzz.
Another good performer is our new introduction for 2016 Bumble, this has again produced very good yields on a consistent basis and is higher yielding than Tundra, if recommended this Autumn could go right to the top on yield on the RL. Of equal importance the grain quality for Bumble has been very encouraging, of our seed crops it has the largest TGW at 807g, an important factor in the export faba bean market. Bumble is in house for seed production for 2015/16.
Honey has been the surprise package this season, producing good yields on farm and consistency in official trials. Honey is without doubt the earliest bean by at least a week, most of our crops were cut in August some 3 weeks earlier than many winter bean crops. This earliness combined with very nice quality for Honey has met initial expectations for export demand. If you are looking for a variety which offers a difference then Honey is worthy of consideration this Autumn.
Wizard has without doubt offered the best yields on farm that we have seen for a number of years. Consistency is key to success with winter bean crops and Wizard offers the best opportunity for this as the most widely grown variety. We have seen very good seed size for Wizard with an average TGW of 803g from our own crops, this meets the desires of end users for the split faba bean market, they will always choose the largest most even size beans for this purpose.
Leading into 2016 we expect Wizard to maintain a reasonable market share, particularly for those growers who understand the needs of the market. Honey has good attributes and has seen demand further North in the UK and in situations where the soil is more moisture retentive and earliness is an important factor.
Arthur and Buzz will continue to be grown where export quality is not the main criteria.
For 2016/17 we see Bumble as being a major variety and look forward to discussing its attributes with you next season.