Since 1982, NPZ actively breeds field beans. Today, NPZ operates its own European breeding programme for field beans at the Hohenlieth site together with the French breeding company RAGT/R2n. Breeding focuses on high performance varieties with particular emphasis on early maturity as well as increasing bean yield and protein content. Selecting for low tannin and vicin is one objective of quality breeding.
Spring Field Beans
Significant progress was achieved with the registration of the variety SCIROCCO in 1992: This variety combined excellent agronomic characteristics with increased yield performance.
As the market for field beans concentrated increasingly in the UK, further variety applications and registrations took place here: QUATTRO, SYNCRO and eventually FUEGO (2004). These varieties led to large market shares which have been maintained to this day. In 2007, FUEGO received the NIAB-Cup as best performing newly registered variety of all crops over previous years. Today’s portfolio of spring field beans at NPZ includes the varieties FANFARE (Germany and UK) as well as VERTIGO (UK). TIFFANY (Germany and France) is to be mentioned as an innovation, featuring a very high yield performance in addition to a low vicin / covicin content. Thanks to the reduction of these anti-nutritive ingredients, poultry feed in particular can contain markedly larger proportions of these field beans as a protein source. Furthermore, TAIFUN is available as a high-performance, tannin-free, white-flowered variety.
Winter Field Beans
Breeding of winter field beans was resumed with the acquisition of the breeding material from Harald Littmann (breeder of HIVERNA, the only variety of winter field beans in Germany). On this basis, and in close cooperation with Göttingen University, systematic work was performed on improving the winter hardiness: The variety YETI was entered into the variety list in the UK in 2015.