Description and Adaptation

Faba beans are best adapted to the moist areas of Saskatchewan and does best under relatively cool growing conditions. Hot, dry spells result in wilting and may reduce seed set. The best adaptation area for faba beans is where growing season rainfall is at least 25 cm (10 inches) such as the Parkland region.

Pulse crop adaptation trials conducted at seven locations in Saskatchewan showed best faba bean yields were obtained in cool and/or wet locations. On average, the crop used 39 cm (15 inches) of water. Faba bean plots yielded almost 6.7 tonnes per hectare (100 bushels per acre) under ideal growing conditions.

Faba beans should be grown with caution in both the Brown soil zones and on dry, light-textured soils, unless irrigation is available. Faba beans grow best on well-drained loam or clay soils of pH 6.5 to 9.0. On light, sandy soils faba bean yield can suffer as a result of drought stress in early summer. Although faba beans are more tolerant of saturated soils than other pulses, it does not perform well under these conditions. Faba beans do not perform well on saline soils.

Faba Bean Plant Description:

  • upright plant, ranging from 1-1.5 metres (3-5 feet) tall
  • annual legume
  • one or more strong, hollow, erect stems
  • strong tap root with an average rooting depth of 0.6 metres (24 inches)
  • leaves are compound with two to six oval shaped leaflets
  • flowers can be pure white, purple, or pink and each cluster may produce one to six pods
  • pods are up to 10 cm (four inches) long, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inches) wide, and contain two to eight seeds per pod
  • pods turns brown or black as they mature and seeds turn tan to brown or grey
  • oblong/oval seeds weigh between 400-800 grams per thousand seeds
  • flowering occurs in 45-60 days, and maturity in 110-130 days
  • bushel weight is 60 pounds