General Three new soybean varieties on Belgian variety list show great potential


3 new soybean varieties have been accepted on the Belgian variety list. Pro Helicon, Pro Jacinto and Pro Vesuvio score excellently in terms of yield and protein content. This proves that Protealis' breeding program is bearing fruit and brings profitable soybean cultivation in Belgium another step closer.

Official variety trials

Variety trials are conducted annually by ILVO (Merelbeke) and CRA-W (Gembloux) to examine newly bred varieties for their cultural and use value (CGW). These trials are conducted according to a strict protocol, with results reported annually to the breeding companies and to the government. Only when new varieties outperform those already available are they admitted to the Belgian variety list. In this way the Belgian catalog guarantees a good choice of varieties; only the best performing varieties under Belgian conditions can be found there. Less well performing varieties are not accepted and are therefore not included.

Soy varieties

After 2 years of variety trials at 5 locations each time, 3 new soybean varieties are approved. These three new varieties come from the Belgian breeding company Protealis. Thanks to project research (VLAIO agricultural project Soy2grow) it was also possible to test many varieties from neighboring countries and other important soybean producing regions. Thus, we have results of 37 early maturing soybean varieties. All results can be found on the ILVO rassenlijst - Rassenlijst ( The tables show that the three Protealis varieties are absolute top performers:

Pro Helicon: With 44.2% protein, Pro Helicon scores the highest protein content of all soybean varieties currently reported on the variety list. In addition, this variety also achieves a soybean yield of 107.6% (where 100% = average of all varieties). Plants of Pro Helicon average about 77 cm in length and exhibit good army resistance.

Pro Jacinto: With a relative yield of 114.0%, this variety is the absolute yield topper of the ILVO variety list. The protein content also rises above 40%. Pro Jacinto plants grow into a sturdy crop with an average length of 91 cm.

Pro Vesuvio: With an average yield of 106.3% combined with a high protein content of 42.1%, Pro Vesuvio achieves high and quality yields. Plants of this variety grow to an average length of 82 cm.

Future for soybean cultivation in Belgium

The admission of these new top varieties brings profitable soybean cultivation in Belgium another step closer. Growing varieties with a high yield and high protein content meets the wishes of both farmers and the processing industry. Thanks in part to various research projects, a great deal of cultivation technical knowledge has also been further developed (e.g. the use of rhizobium inoculants, sowing and harvesting techniques, weed control). The organization of a logistics chain, in which drying, cleaning and storage of the soybeans play a central role and in which a bridge is built between the local farmer and the food processing industry seems to be the last obstacle to be overcome in order to grow soybeans successfully on a large(r) scale in our region.

Farmers and/or companies interested in local soybean cultivation can always contact ILVO researchers.

Overview of soy trials Soy plants in bloom
Soybean varieties trial at ILVO-Merelbeke on Aug. 1, 2023. Left: overview photo - Right: Detail of the flowers on the top floor. Thanks to good weather conditions in August and September of 2023, flowers on all floors grew into filled pods and good yields were realized.

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