Beans

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

See the PGRO Online Pulse Agronomy Guide for useful info on growing field beans.

Field beans (Vicia faba) are used for inclusion in animal feed, aquaculture, export for human consumption and for pigeon feed. Suitable winter and spring varieties are available for these uses.

Beans provide a useful break to reduce cereal pests and diseases and an opportunity to control grass weeds in an arable rotation. In wet years and on heavy soils, beans perform better than peas. Beans also suffer less from pigeon damage, they are easier to combine, and growing costs can sometimes be lower.

Beans, however, are harvested later than peas, and time of harvest is very dependent on seasonal weather in the August/September period.

Winter beans do not have a vernalisation requirement, although they are more winter hardy than spring types. In moisture-retentive and fertile fields that produce tall, lush crops short-strawed varieties could be an asset. Ascochyta is most likely to be a problem in wet conditions and varieties with good resistance are available.

Beans are classified as winter and spring beans and are further classified by pale or black hilum colour or tic. Some pale hilum type have low levels of anti-nutritinal compound Vicine and Convicine (LVC types).

  • Winter beans are generally large-seeded with a thousand seed weight normally above 530 grams. Spring varieties are generally smaller seeded. Tic bean varieties have small, rounded seeds, which may be suitable for the pigeon trade.
     
  • Pale hilum spring beans for export for human consumption and small-seeded beans for the pigeon trade attract a premium.
     
  • Downy mildew can cause yield loss in some seasons, but varieties with good resistance are available. Early maturing spring beans can mature before winter beans.
     
  • Early maturing beans have enabled the crop to be grown in Northern Britain.

Quality standards for export to the Middle East for human consumption are high. Varieties with a smooth and pale skin and pale hilum are suitable for this market. It is important that samples are clean, sound and have low levels of bruchid beetle damage.

 

 

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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.

A combination of sustainability, health & animal welfare concerns are pushing a shift away from meat in our diets to alternative proteins.

Farmers taking part in and getting paid for on-farm trials as part of the NCS Project.

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.   

As the UK's centre of excellence for peas and beans, the PGRO has a long and highly valued track record of providing authoritative, up to date information and project work based on solid, reliable research.

Diseases infect susceptible plant hosts, where environmental conditions favor disease development. Infected crops achieve lower yields and the quality of the produce can also be affected.

Bruchus rufimanus is a widespread pest of beans. Adults are 3.5 - 4.5 mm long, squat shaped, black or dark-bown with small grey flecks

Some symbiotic or free-living microorganisms can fix inert di-nitrogen (N) from the air into reactive organic nitrogenous compounds.  Most biological N fixation (BNF) in farming systems occurs in the root nodules of legumes where rhizobium bacteria take photosynthates from the plant in exchange for fixing atmospheric N and returning ammonium or amides which the plant uses to form amino acids, proteins, etc.   Plants need more N than any other nutrient and N commonly limits plant growth in many ecosystems. 

The pea and bean weevil adults cause characteristic leaf notching around the leaf margins. The larvae can cause significant damage to the nitrogen-fixing root nodules. 

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Legume is the commonly used name for the family of flowering plants, Fabaceae. Any plant in the Fabaceae family that has leaves, stems and pods are referred to as a Legume.

Plant breeding is the science of adapting the genetics of plants to produce more desirable characteristics, in agriculture these typically include improved yield, in-field performance and end use quality.

The Claydon Opti-Till® System, is a holistic approach to crop establishment which delivers consistent, high yielding crops at low cost, providing maximum profitability. At the centre of Opti-Till® Seed Drilling System is the Claydon direct strip Hybrid drill, with its unique leading tine technology.

Peas (pisum sativum) are grown either for combining dry seed (combining peas) or harvesting fresh as a vegetable or for freezing (vining peas).

PGRO have conducted trials testing a range of biostimulants on spring beans, vining peas and combining peas in seasons from 2018 to 2021.

Following the TRUE and LegValue EU projects this LinkedIn group with over 100 members continues to share resources for those interested in legume crops,

Innovative Farmers, as part of their involvement in the Horizon Europe LEGUMINOSE project we will be setting up trials with Reading University to look at the benefits of intercropping in arable rotations.

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This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

At present, we are leaders in the spring field bean market, including varieties such as Lynx, Vertigo, Fanfare and newer varieties including Yukon, Macho and Victus. We also have competitive oilseed rape varieties, for example Clubroot resistant varieties Crome and Croozer, HEAR OSR varieties including Resort and Ergo, all of which help the UK farmer to maximise their yield.  

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.   Branston are creating a potato derived protein product.

Scientia potentia est: knowledge is power. But understanding empowers. The purpose of the Legume Hub is to empower all interested in the development of legume crop production and use by providing access to validated knowledge. It is a platform dedicated to sharing knowledge and successful practices across value chains, from plant breeding, on-farm activities, through to processing and consumption.

Nitrogen residue following different crops is an important consideration in the N fertiliser requirement of the subsequent crop and one of the key determinants of N fertiliser recommendations in the UK. 

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The bruchid beetle (also known as bean seed beetle or broad bean weevil) damages the seeds of field bean and its larvae can lead to crop rejection in broad beans.

Beans provide a useful break crop for wheat or seed crops.

Pea and bean weevil (also called pea leaf weevil) is a particular risk to spring-sown peas and beans.

The study measured the N available after spring-sown peas, field beans or autumn sown cereals in eastern England and the subsequent response of winter wheat to fertiliser nitrogen.  

As part of the NCS project, McArthur Agriculture have started to carry out trials in dehulling and roasting beans to start testing for different outcomes.

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Somerset beef and arable producer, Richard Coles, has substantially reduced his costs of production by cutting out expensive, bought-in ingredients and replacing them with home-grown feed, including high protein beans.

Among legume crops, forage peas and field beans show the most symptoms of legume fatigue.

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Buying a standing crop of beans and producing 21% protein forage has helped sheep and beef producer, Steven Smith, improve profitability on his Northumberland farm.

Protein-rich peas and beans are replacing concentrates in the winter ration of sheep and cattle at a Radnorshire farm.

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The national crop area of beans, practices of home feeding, and utilisation within the feed industry in general have increased.

A Welsh farming family, who grew and crimped peas and beans as part of a government/EU trial, has been able to completely cut out bought-in feed from their cattle rations.

An innovative approach to growing and preserving peas, beans and lupins has cut out bought-in protein from almost all livestock rations while also meeting greening rules on a Durham farm.

At Woodend Farm, we are conducting an innovative trial focused on over-sowing white clover into spring and winter beans and spring oats using the Skippy Scout drone. The objective is to establish an understorey of white clover that will enhance nitrogen sequestration, yield, and quality in subsequent winter wheat crops.    

Boost Your Pea and Bean Yields by Nearly a Fifth with Phosphate-Enhanced Starter Fertiliser

The YEN programme has highlighted factors not previously recognised as important for achieving go

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