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Faba Bean – Varieties

Variety Testing Procedures

Registered faba bean varieties are entered into the Alberta Regional Variety Test Program. These trials are run annually across the province and yield and agronomic data are collected. This data is then made publicly available through the Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Seed Guide.

The data and descriptions include:

  • Varieties currently being tested
  • Varieties previously tested, with sufficient data, are also listed as “fully tested varieties”.
  • When pedigreed seed of the older varieties becomes unavailable in Alberta, the variety will be removed.

Choosing a Faba Bean Variety

There are two main market classes for faba beans: food and feed. Large 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 tan to brown seed coats that contain tannins. White flowered faba beans contain extremely low levels of tannin and are suitable as a high protein livestock feed. Fractionation of faba bean seed into flour, starch, and protein is a developing market option.

Variety Checklist


  • A number of site years provides the best data only if these sites represent similar growing conditions.
  • Check data from local zone, industry, and regional trials. 
  • See links listed below.


  • Use a combination of growing season precipitation and soil type – data from sites with abnormal precipitation the previous year may be suspect.

Vine Length

  • 1 to 2 metres tall


  • Standability considers vine length, amount of precipitation, wind damage, variety and soil nitrogen levels. All standability ratings are lower in dry years compared to wet years, even for the same variety.
  • If standability is important, choose varieties with ratings of 5.0 or less.


  • Maturity is a concern, as faba beans are a long season crop.
  • Early varieties have the best chance of avoiding fall-frost damage.
  • Maturity days can range from 104 to 110 days
  • Maturity is influenced by variety, precipitation, temperature and vine length – higher rainfall and short growing season areas require shorter vine, earlier maturing varieties.

Seed Size

  • Seed size influences both seeding rate and seeding cost.
  • In some cases, larger seed varieties produce higher yield, but the cost of seed should be considered in light of any potential yield increase (market type – including seed size, shape and cotyledon colour – is also important).
  • Seed weight can vary from 325 to 749.
  • Resource:  Government of Alberta’s Seeding Rate Calculator.


  • Food and feed.
  • Coloured flower (normal tannin).
  • Coloured flower (normal tannin, low vicine/convicine).
  • White flower (low tannin).
  • White flower (low tannin, low vicine/convicine).

Disease resistance

  • Various varieties have complete or partial to White Mould and Chocolate Spot Botrytis.
  • Varieties that are more upright may result in a drier canopy with less disease.