Brian Hall, Edible Bean & Canola, OMAFRA
The 2007 recommended variety report for white and coloured beans is now available for download by clicking on the link below. A couple of new features have been added to this year’s report.
White bean variety information now includes a rating for suitability for direct harvest. The rating is based on plant type and should help growers in selecting varieties most suitable for direct harvest. Scoring is on a scale of 1 to 5 with the best score for upright plant type with good bottom pod height being ‘1’. The variety Nautica for example which has the most upright plant type of all the varieties has a rating of 2.5. OAC Rex which is also upright is rated at 3.3, not quite as good as Nautica but still suitable for direct harvest. OAC Gryphon on the other end is better suited for pull and windrow harvest which is reflected in its 4.3 rating. While the ratings are intended to reflect genetic differences in plant type, environmental conditions can also influence the rating of a variety through its tendency to lodge. The ratings are for trial locations planted in narrow rows.
Another feature included in this years report for white and coloured beans is individual station location results. Soil type and environment can influence how a variety performs, and this year’s report allows growers to compare the performance of varieties at locations more similar to their farm. While both individual year and 3 year averages are included in the report, growers are cautioned against selecting a variety simply based solely on one year performance. Yield stability is more important in a variety than how it did in any one year. At the Granton location for example, the white bean variety T9905 has had the highest yield in each of the past 3 years. This kind of yield consistency is important. Last year tended to favour the longer season varieties because of the above long term heat units we received, so it is important to look at more than one year’s results.