Maple field peas


Courier is a high yielding, semi-leafless maple field pea cultivar bred by Plant & Food Research.

It is the first semi-leafless maple pea cultivar to be released with Plant Variety Rights in New Zealand and exhibits improvements in plant height and lodging resistance over the shorter-strawed cultivar Crown.

Courier is resistant to Fusarium wilt Race 1, and has better tolerance to Ascochyta blight than Whero and Crown.

Courier is susceptible to powdery mildew.

View Courier brochure (PDF 34kb)

Key features

  • High yielding maple pea cultivar (evaluated in FAR trials as 8554.32 and Courier).
  • Improved lodging resistance.
  • Semi-leafless plant type.
  • Suited to both irrigated and dryland environments.
  • Resistant to Fusarium wilt Race 1.
  • Excellent nutritional profile compared to existing New Zealand maple pea cultivars.


Courier is a spring-sown, semi-leafless maple field pea cultivar that produces a vigorous medium-tall plant with improved lodging resistance. The flowers of Courier are purple.

Excellent grain yields at both irrigated and dryland sites have been reported in FAR Arable Updates where it has been tested as 8554.32 and Courier.

The grain of Courier has an irregular shape with yellow cotyledons and a brown mottled seed coat with a tan hilum. Grain size is similar to Whero, but larger than Crown.


Under most conditions, Courier exhibits better lodging resistance and harvest-ability than all other New Zealand maple pea varieties.

Courier is best sown from mid-September to late October. The recommended sowing rate is 260 kg/ha. Aim for a plant population of 80/m2. Courier can compensate well for lower sowing rates by producing 1 to 3 tillers.

Recent FAR research indicates that peas do not respond to fertiliser (beyond maintenance applications prior to sowing). Excess fertiliser applications may promote too much growth which may reduce lodging resistance.

Courier has been exposed to most registered pea herbicides with no apparent problems. Follow the recommendations of Peter Cates Ltd before herbicides are applied.

Courier will produce high yields if water use is monitored and irrigation scheduled. However, excessive irrigation can lead to excess vine growth which may reduce yield, lodging resistance and harvest-ability.


Courier is susceptible to powdery mildew so an application of an appropriate systemic fungicide in late December is recommended.

Courier is resistant to Fusarium wilt Race 1. Resistance to downy mildew and Ascochyta blight is similar to Crown therefore Courier is rated as moderately susceptible in New Zealand. Courier is tolerant of pea top yellows virus but susceptible to pea seed-borne mosaic virus and pea powdery mildew.

Marketing and utilisation

The New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research Ltd (as Head Licensee of Courier) has appointed New Zealand Plant Breeding Ltd as Seed Production Licensee in New Zealand.

This cultivar was granted Plant Variety Rights in New Zealand on 10 December 1997.

Courier was developed for New Zealand and international pea export markets. Its use is targeted primarily at bird-feed markets rather than for sprouting.


Funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has enabled Crop & Food Research to develop this superior maple pea cultivar for the New Zealand arable industry.

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