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Legumes form symbiotic relationships with soil bacteria called rhizobia. Rhizobia form nodules on legume roots where atmospheric nitrogen (N) from soil pores is fixed into plant-available N and fed to plants.

There are many well understood reasons for growing legumes, such as:

• fixing nitrogen to increase soil fertility and reduce input requirements

• providing disease breaks in cereal–canola rotations • increasing income source diversity

• increasing diversity of crop protection chemicals to reduce pressure on weeds, pests, and diseases developing pesticide resistance


This guide has been developed for the medium- to high-rainfall zone of southern Western Australia (WA) to encourage faba bean adoption.

Download the guide below

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Pulses are leguminous crops harvested for dry protein-rich seed, with peas (pisum sativum) and beans (vicia faba) being the major crops in the UK.

Nitrogen is required annually by most crops (except pulses) to achieve yield and quality. Judging how much N to apply is a key part of nutrient management.

The major commodity crops in the UK are wheat, barley, oilseed rape, field beans, sugar beet and potatoes, but around half of agricultural land grows grass.   

Share information, knowledge, resources and experience on how we can improve crop perfomance (yield, quality and profitability) whilst reducing reliance on input, reducing impacts and improving environmental performance.

Field beans (vicia faba) are a widely grown break crop across the UK on around 170,000 ha.