Canadian pea growers have four new pea options this year from the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre.
CDC Saffron and CDC Amarillo are yellow pea varieties and CDC Raezer and CDC Limerick are green peas.
“These four are the newest varieties available to farmers, and there is seed available,” said Tom Warkentin of the CDC, which has been breeding peas for 30 years.
Most pea acres in Western Canada are grown to CDC varieties.
CDC Meadow, and CDC Golden have been most commonly grown yellow pea varieties in Western Canada in recent years.
Warkentin said Saffron and Amarillo provided higher yields than Meadow and Golden.
“Amarillo on average is a little higher yielding than Saffron and has a very good lodging resistance,” he said. “Saffron has a slightly larger seed size, which in some markets is an advantage.”
Yellow peas account for 75 percent of western Canadian pea acres. Green peas take up much of the remaining acres, but there are also smaller market classes such as maple peas and forage peas.
CDC Striker and CDC Patrick are the most commonly grown green pea varieties, but Warkentin said CDC Raezer and CDC Limerick offer advantages over these strains.
“Striker has been popular be-cause it has very nice seed type, as well as good yields,” he said.
“Raezer is very similar in seed type to Striker, but it has the advantage of being resistant to powdery mildew, which Striker is not.”
CDC Patrick and CDC Limerick are also resistant to powdery mildew. High yields are CDC Limerick’s key advantage.
“It’s higher yield than Striker, Patrick, and somewhat higher than Raezer as well, on average,” he said. “Limerick is also high in protein in the seeds, which might be an advantage in some situations.”
Growers can find suppliers in the Saskatchewan Seed Guide.