“Beans earn their place in any considered arable rotation, and recent suggestions that EFA changes compromise that place are mistaken.” That is the strong message from Roger Vickers, PGRO chief executive.
“We have seen reports suggesting that some growers will drop beans in the light of EFA changes. In truth, the majority of growers know the benefits of having pulses in the rotation, and few are producing them purely for the 5% crop area EFA qualification. And I suspect even those who initially may have grown them for this reason will by now have realised the wider benefits of having a pulse crop on their farm.
“As we look at this season’s harvest to date, there are lots of growers who have had very poor second wheat yields this year – and growers with disappointing spring wheat returns too. They should look the benefits to wheat yields from a preceding pulse crop. The boost to first wheat yields is an important plus to add to the clear rotational advantages of pulses. A wide range of research sources give the boost to the following crop – usually a winter wheat – of somewhere in the region of 10%, adding up to 700-1000kgs/ha to yields on average.
“Are we seeing a late harvest of spring beans this year? Yes, if compared to a generally early harvest for everything else. The weather has turned catchy and spring beans have lost the early advantage, but they are not later than usual. Growers who may have an issue with later-harvested crops could consider winter beans in order to retain their pulse boost.”