New in food-grade and edible beans

Market potential and the new Canadian health claim may boost interest and production

Canada’s reputation for excellence in the production and quality of identity-preserved (IP) food-grade soybeans and edible beans is a well-known advantage to those growers who contract to grow these crops on a regular basis. High proteins, high sugars, and unblemished seed coats are among the marks of excellence that attract buyers from around the world.

Early in 2015, Health Canada also approved a claim for soy protein to help reduce cholesterol. It’s hoped this claim will drive domestic interest in IP food-grade soybeans going forward. And of course, eastern Canadian production of white, cranberry, kidney and black beans — among others — remains a viable market for those growers who stand by edible beans — because they do such an incredible job of growing them.

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For our part, Country Guide is featuring its latest entry in our “What’s new?” series, with six companies taking part. Keep in mind, if you’re in the market to grow any IP food-grade soybeans or edible beans, it’s best to book early.

Identity-Preserved (IP)/food-grade soybean varieties

Country Farm Seeds

OAC Thamesville is an IP food-grade variety suited to the 3150 crop heat unit (CHU) region of Eastern Canada, with a relative maturity (RM) of 2.3. It provides excellent yields in all weather conditions and is readily adaptable to most soil types. It also works well in conventional, minimum or no-till management operations. It’s a yellow-hilum bean adapted to premium export markets.


Avatar is Croplan/Winfield’s first non-GMO soybean for the export market. It’s suited to the 2850 heat unit region with an RM of 1.5. It’s a moderate bush-type plant that grows to medium height and can fit most row spacings, although 15- to 30-inch rows are best. Avatar grows very well in clay and silt soils, with very good emergence, good standability, very good tolerance to white mould and good tolerance to Phytophthora root rot. In terms of food quality parameters, it’s an imperfect yellow-hilum bean, with 41.8 per cent protein and 19.5 per cent oil content.

Dow Seeds

DS045C0 is a Dow IP food-grade soybean variety with an RM of 0.4, offering good white mould tolerance and larger seed sizes. This variety is pending registration.

DS143C0, also from Dow, is an IP food-grade soybean with an RM of 1.4, coupled with excellent yields and above-average protein content. This variety is also pending registration.

Hensall District Co-operative

HDC Celebrity is a new IP soybean with excellent yield for maturity. It has an RM of 0.5 and is suited to the 2650 CHU growing areas, for all soil types, and is best suited to seven- to 22-inch row spacing. It’s an imperfect yellow hilum, is resistant to soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and has a protein level of 42 to 43 per cent. It also comes with a good lodging score.


Candor is a new tofu variety from PROSeeds suitable for the 3000 HU area with an excellent grower premium. Japanese buyers have been excited about the size, colour and protein of this bean. Recommended for 15-inch rows, this mid-bushy plant will fill in a 30-inch row as well. A consistent performer across all soil types, the high yield is supported by great standability and disease resistance.

Astor is a new 2575 HU tofu variety for the early areas of Ontario and Quebec. Strong legs under permit this variety to be grown at 15-inch rows on sandy to clay loam soils. Although seed supply will be limited, the company says Astor should be looked at by anyone growing OAC Champion. Just a note, the variety is sensitive to high rates of metribuzin.

Emperor falls in between the two varieties above with a CHU rating of 2750. Ontario trials demonstrate the yield potential of this tofu variety. Emperor easily adapts to various row spacing and soil types, with strong standability and well-podded stems. Seed will be limited for this new introduction.


OAC Strive has been added to SeCan’s conventional soybean lineup for 2016. Three-year Ontario Performance Trial data for this 2675 CHU variety shows yields at a 105 per cent index in the 2500 to 2800 CHU trial. OAC Strive is an excellent candidate for identity-preserved (IP) food-grade programs due to its higher-than-normal protein content. In addition to its positive yield and protein attributes, this imperfect yellow-hilum variety features good lodging resistance and good tolerance to Phytophthora root rot. Producers should note there will be very limited supply of this variety for 2016.

OAC Prescott is an exciting new 2725 CHU conventional soybean variety, debuting in farm fields in 2016. Its high yield potential and protein levels make this grey-hilum soybean a complementary variety to OAC Wallace. Ontario Soybean Variety Trial 2014 results from all test sites show OAC Prescott at a five-year average of 111 per cent of the check. This variety came in No. 1 overall for three years in the 2500 to 2800 CHU Ontario Performance Trials test. Broadly adapted to suit all Ontario soil types, this variety performs across all row widths in no-till and conventional management systems, and has good tolerance to Phytophthora root rot.

OAC Brooke is the third and highest CHU addition to SeCan’s 2016 conventional soybean portfolio. Given this 3050 CHU variety’s base protein levels, large size, and yellow-hilum beans, premiums within IP food-grade programs are available. OAC Brooke shows superior yield performance to OAC Kent and is considered this variety’s new export-quality replacement. Ontario Soybean Performance Trials five-year summary indicates this non-GMO line yielded 109 per cent of the index. This line does particularly well on clay and clay loam soils, is resistant to most races of Phytophthora root rot, and performs in both conventional and no-till operations.

Edible bean varieties

Hensall District Co-op

Fathom is a first for North American white beans, with both common bacterial blight resistance and anthracnose resistance. It grows as an upright bush type of plant with vines, and carries an excellent yield potential. Optimum row spacing is 15- to 30-inch rows with 97 days to maturity. However, Fathom doesn’t do well in rich loam soils.

Mist is a white bean variety with excellent root strength and resistance to common bacterial blight. Optimum row spacing is 15 to 30 inches, with excellent seed quality. Mist also does well in late-season areas, is suited to all soil types and typically matures in 98 days.

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CG Production Editor

Ralph Pearce

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