A visit to trial plots of combining peas organised by I’Anson Brothers Ltd for a BEPA (British Edible Pulses Association) trade open day showed the range of established, newly listed and candidate large blue varieties - including five from breeders LSPB (LS Plant Breeding Ltd).
Large blue pea varieties Bluetime and Blueman are high on the PGRO combining pea Recommended List, with Blueman having a highest possible ‘9’ rating for downy mildew. The plots also featured fully recommended Bluetooth and new variety Pastoral. The fifth LSPB variety in the plots was Campus, which is noteworthy for its 'highest on list' standing power of ‘8’.
“While the standing power rating is spot on, as growers of the variety will know, the yield rating of Campus on the PGRO Recommended List does not reflect its field performance,” asserts Theo Labuda, LSPB Managing Director. “It may be less in theory than the top-yielding LSPB varieties, but its standing power brings a real benefit in the barn for growers.
Campus grower Mark Sampson, who together with his son Harry, drilled and manages the plots, added is better to get all of the yield in the barn from a variety that stands well than maybe 80% or 90% from a variety with a lower standing power.
This on-farm benefit shows up in the popularity of Campus - with over 20% of the large blues certified in the UK - and in its excellent reputation with end users, such as feed manufacturers I’Anson Brothers.
“The overall message from the pulse trade visit was that the wide choice of large blue peas available to growers now - and being evaluated for the future - is a strong indication of a healthy marketplace. Our large blue pea varieties, and indeed all other ones on the Recommended List, offer growers the potential of meeting market demand for the packet trade, for canning, for micronising and for export,” added Mr Labuda.