Marrowfat field peas

PRL conduct one of the few remaining marrowfat pea breeding efforts globally targeting the high-value Asian snack food market. Following on from the successful variety Midichi PRL are developing new varieties with improved yield and agronomics in conjunction with local and international partners in North America and the USA.

How do Marrowfat field peas compare with Spring barley for gross margin? (PDF 19kb)


Midichi is a high yielding marrowfat field pea variety bred by Plant & Food Research.

It is New Zealand’s first locally bred marrowfat cultivar and is the product of a joint breeding programme with Midlands Seed.

Midichi has improved bleaching resistance and is resistant to pea powdery mildew.

View Midichi brochure (PDF 32kb)

Key features

  • High yielding marrowfat cultivar (evaluated in FAR trials as 2E09).
  • Improved grain bleaching resistance.
  • Resistant to pea powdery mildew.
  • Suited to both irrigated and dryland environments.
  • Bred specifically for the Asian snack-food market.


Midichi is a spring-sown marrowfat field pea cultivar that produces a crop of medium height and matures early to mid-season. Flowering normally commences at nodes. Guido Midichi 14-16 and double pods which produce 4-6 grains/pod are set.

Midichi was bred at Plant & Food Research using traditional plant breeding techniques and is not genetically modified.

Excellent grain yields at both irrigated and dryland sites have been reported in FAR Arable Updates where it has been tested as 2E09.

Grain of Midichi has a characteristic marrowfat shape with green cotyledons. Grain size is normally similar to Guido, and larger than Maro and Primo. The internal cotyledon colour of Midichi is a uniform darker green, which produces a high quality grit for snack production.


General agronomic practices should be similar to those used for other marrowfat varieties.

Under normal conditions Midichi will stand until podfill. Lodging will normally occur at this time, but harvestability is usually similar to other marrowfat cultivars.

Midichi is best sown from mid-September to mid-October. The recommended sowing rate is 310-330 kg/ha. A minimum rotation of four years is recommended between Midichi and any other pea variety.

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 or cause problems at harvest.

Midichi has been exposed to most registered pea herbicides with no apparent problems. Ask for advice before applying herbicides.

Midichi will produce high yields if water use is monitored and irrigation carefully scheduled. However, excessive irrigation may enhance disease development or excessive vine growth.

Although Midichi has improved bleaching resistance, all green-seeded peas will bleach if left in the field too long. The best recommendation at present is to cut when the first pods on the plants are turning yellow. New Zealand Plant Breeding Ltd can offer further advice on harvest moisture and grain drying.


Powdery mildew normally begins to appear in late December and can move rapidly through a pea crop where it can reduce yield, grain size and uniformity of grain size. Midichi incorporates genes from conventional plant breeding techniques which confer resistance to pea powdery mildew so fungicide should not be necessary.

Resistance to downy mildew and Ascochyta blight is similar to other marrowfat cultivars. These diseases can be managed using good rotational and residue management practices. With good management, these diseases would not normally cause problems. Seed treatments offering protection from seedling downy mildew and Ascochyta blight are available if these diseases are likely to be a problem. Midichi is susceptible to pea seed-borne mosaic virus.

Marketing and utilisation

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

Midichi was developed for New Zealand and international pea export markets. Its use is targeted primarily at high value Asian snack products.

Midichi was granted Plant Variety Rights in New Zealand on 14 July 1999.


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


Midlea marrowfat pea is a conventional leafed variety with a large and uniform grain size with good grain colour when wind-rowed. It is similar to Midichi visually but is not resistant to powdery mildew. Grain yields have been similar to Midichi where powdery mildew is not a limiting factor.

Midlea is available from Midlands Seed.


22-5 is a new marrowfat variety currently being used commercially in NZ, Canada and the USA.

22-5 is our first semi-leafless variety and combines powdery mildew resistance from Midichi.

22-5 is available from Cates Grain & Seed.

View 22-5 brochure (PDF 45kb)

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