Variety Selection

2020 Variety Evaluation Guide

Field Pea Market Classes

Like dry beans, field peas are made up of several market classes. Manitoba’s insured field pea acreage consists of yellow (90%), green (6%), forage (4%), marrowfat (<1%) and maple (<1%) types.

Yellow peas are typically destined for human consumption, protein extraction and fractionation. They don’t bleach in the field so they can handle delayed harvest and later desiccation timing (to reduce greens). Yellow peas are widely purchased by grain buyers, while other classes are more specialized.

Green peas are more often destined for human consumption and livestock feed, and as a result quality is more demanding. They do bleach in the field, which will result in downgrading.

Selecting a Pea Variety

Each year, yellow, green, maple and forage varieties are tested in Manitoba across central and western sites (Arborg, Boissevain, Carberry, Hamiota, Melita, Morden, Roblin and Swan River in 2020). The results of these are available in the annual Pulse & Soybean Variety Guide, available mid-November each year.

Yield – long-term and 2020 yield by location data

  • Long-term yields (yield % check) are available in the variety description table along with the number of site years a variety has been tested.
  • Yield by location tables indicate variety performance in 2020. Select the location with growing conditions closest to your own and scroll to the bottom where the least significant difference (LSD) value is listed. Note this number.
  • Choose a variety you’ve grown in the past or one you’re familiar with. Any varieties with yields greater than what’s listed for your chosen variety + the LSD value yielded significantly better. Any with yields listed lower than your chosen variety – the LSD value yielded significantly poorer. We can be confident that yield differences outlined by the LSD are due to the genetics of the variety and not environmental or experimental error.
    • The example below uses AAC Carver as the chosen variety (highlighted in yellow) for yellow peas. Values highlighted in green yielded significantly more at that site-year, while those highlighted in red yielded poorer. No highlight means no difference.

2013 – 2019 Variety Evaluation Guides

Contents of these publications can only be reproduced with permission from MPSG.


  • Rated as early, medium or long compared to the check, CDC Meadow (95 days to maturity) or CDC Amarillo (94 days to maturity).
    • Early: -3 days
    • Med: -2 to -1 days
    • Long: 0 to +3 days
  • Affects timing of harvest operations. Unlike soybeans, you don’t need to plan around the frost-free period.
  • Pea breeders at AAFC-Lacombe have shown that higher yields are positively associated with later maturity and taller plant height.

Source: DJ Bing, AAFC-Lacombe, 2020

Disease Resistance

  • All varieties have fair resistance to Mycosphaerella blight and most varieties have very good resistance to powdery mildew.
  • Fusarium wilt, a vascular and weak root rot pathogen caused by oxysporum, affected 47% of pea crops in Manitoba in 2019. Varieties are available with fair or good resistance, though there are different strains of this pathogen. Varieties with good resistance to one strain may be susceptible to other strains.
  • Fusarium avenaceum is the predominant species of the fusarium root rot complex in peas, which affects 99% of pea crops in Manitoba. This species infects most crops, though peas and lentils are its preferred hosts. Some genes providing partial resistance to this species have been identified. The Crop Development Centre at the U of S has been screening varieties in the greenhouse to find resistance in the current germplasm (see figure below).
    • CDC Meadow, CDC Lewochko, AAC Ardill, CDC Canary and AAC Carver are yellow pea varieties identified with improved resistance to F. avenaceum.
  • There is no resistance available for Aphanomyces root rot at this time.

Source: Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ Fusarium Root Rot in Pulse Crops Fact Sheet

Lodging Score

  • Ultimately up to environmental conditions, but variety selection can help by selecting those with very good (VG) or good (G) lodging scores.

Seed Size

  • Influences seeding rate and seeding cost. Smaller seeded varieties are often cheaper to seed and are less likely to plug equipment, while larger seeds with good quality may have a market premium.

Quality Factors

  • Protein: Available at as a web exclusive and reported on a dry matter basis.
  • Green seed coats: Applicable only to yellow peas. This is a measure of how tolerant the variety is to having green colouring in the seed coat or cotyledons at harvest. This won’t affect germination, but could affect grade.
  • Seed coat breakage: refers to the durability of the seed coat, but not the thickness. Varieties with lower ratings may need extra care during handling and harvest to minimize damage.
  • Seed coat dimpling: Grading may be impacted if peas dimple severely.
  • Seed coat bleaching: not applicable to yellow peas; current green pea varieties all have good tolerance. Harvesting green peas early will help prevent bleaching.
Additional Resources:
SPG’s Pea Seed Guide