There are two main market classes for faba bean: food and feed. Seed size is an important trait for certain classes of food grade faba beans. Faba beans grown for the food market have coloured flowers and seed coats that contain tannins. White flowered faba bean contains extremely low levels of tannin and are suitable as a high protein livestock feed.
Faba bean regional trials were revived in 2006 to accommodate the growing interest in this crop as a nitrogen-fixing, high-protein feed grain. It is targeted for the moister areas of Saskatchewan where producers experience problems with pea diseases. Variety trials are also conducted under irrigated conditions.
When reviewing variety data on faba bean, consider the following:
- Maturity is a concern, as faba bean is a long season crop. Early varieties have the best chance of avoiding fall frost damage.
- The maturity rating is the average number of days from sowing to swathing and will be longer if seeding is delayed or if the season is cool and wet.
- Contact your seed supplier for additional information on disease resistance.
- Lodging resistance ratings are not provided as the degree of lodging in the evaluation trials was not sufficient for reliable lodging ratings.
The varieties recommended for production under irrigation are evaluated at Outlook at the Canada Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre (CSIDC). Yields of the irrigated check variety were approximately 5145 kg/ha (76 bu/ac). Under irrigation, the highest yielding varieties produced 96 bu/ac in 2009 irrigated trials. Irrigated faba beans tend to yield higher than dryland faba beans.