The Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) will launch its first ever Descriptive List for pea and bean varieties next month. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

The new format replaces the Recommended List which has been in existence for more than 35 years, publishing data on how prominent and novel pulse seeds have performed in independent trials.

Growers are invited to a free webinar on 19 November where the PGRO will explain the new look and review how varieties performed in 2020.

Pulses UK will use the event to inform the sector of market developments ahead of the 2021 season.

PGRO Chief Executive, Roger Vickers, said: “Recommended Lists were established around 50 years ago at a time when very little independent variety information was available.

“As the role of pulses in rotations has grown and evolved, we feel a Descriptive List is much more in line with modern grower requirements and will enable us to showcase a wider range of varieties to suit different systems.”

According to Roger, the new format will replace a “heavily yield-focused system”, providing growers with valuable independent data which encourages breeding innovation and market development.

Principal Technical Officer, Steve Belcher, who oversees the curation of the lists said: “There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for all arable crops, but we’re looking forward to presenting the data on how combining peas and winter and spring beans performed in our trials.

Following the launch of the Descriptive List, Pulses UK will then present its annual market outlook.

Pulses UK President, Lewis Cottey, said: “The future of pulse crops looks extremely bright due to the growing need for an alternative break crop and the market demand for quality proteins.

“We’ll be using the webinar to reflect on some of those challenges and opportunities.”

Registration for the webinar, which starts at 10.30am on Thursday 19 November, is now open. Click here to register.