The Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) has added 11 new pea and bean varieties to its 2024 Descriptive List for pulses.

A total of six combining peas, two winter beans and three spring beans have completed the requisite number of years in trials and demonstrated the necessary qualities for inclusion.

PGRO senior technical officer Dr Chris Judge launched the 2024 list during a webinar for farmers, breeders, agronomists and industry stakeholders.

He explained that despite going through heatwaves, cold snaps and a wide variety of temperatures and conditions, trials were conducted successfully and the varieties grown across the country demonstrated good consistency in terms of yield and impressive disease resistance.

“The control yield for peas, spring beans and winter beans were all very similar to the 2023 Descriptive List,” says Chris. “Looking at the five years currently used in the datasets, yields were slightly down in 2023 compared to 2022 for all three pulse groups.”

Funded by the PGRO Pulse Levy, the Descriptive List trials are conducted annually at sites located in the major production areas. Summary data is based on a five-year rolling average to account for seasonal variations.

The data gives growers the opportunity to compare 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.

New combining pea varieties

Two yellow combining peas – Concerto (LS Plant Breeding) and Batist (Senova) – are the new top-yielding varieties producing 115% and 113% of the control respectively. KWS Flam is the other new yellow pea, yielding 110%.

Pink peas

A new pink pea category has been created for the Descriptive List to accommodate the new variety Flamingo (Cope Seeds & Grain). In trials it was the lowest-yielding pea listed (78%).
Green peas

Shazam (Senova) and Reacher (IAR Agri) are the two green peas making their debut on the list, and both have good all-round qualities in terms of yield and disease resistance.


Elsoms Seeds is the UK agent for a new marrowfat variety, Vision, which has become the highest yielder in that category, achieving 100% of the control.

Winter and spring beans

According to PGRO, in 2023, many winter bean trials struggled with frost damage after two cold snaps in short succession last winter. Despite this, harvest conditions were good in the summer and two new varieties – LG Arctic (Limagrain) and Ninja (Senova) – have completed their ascent to the Descriptive List.

Chris says conversely, spring bean trials suffered in the heat. The hotter-than-average June led to similar yields to 2022 when heatwaves also struck during key stages of crop development. Synergy (Saaten Union) is the highest yielding of the three varieties entering the list for 2024 (107%), closely followed by Navara (Senova) which yielded 106%, and LG Hawk (Limagrain) which returned 101%.

A video of this year’s Descriptive List launch is available on the PGRO’s YouTube channel and the full Descriptive List data can be downloaded from