Beeswax Farming Stubton Estate, near Newark was host this week to the 2017 PGRO pulse field day where growers inspected plot and field trials of the latest pulse research, agronomy and varieties.
"One of PGRO's key objectives is to share our research and agronomy work, so team members were on hand throughout the day for explanations and to give a deeper insight to growers," commented Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO.
The site featured a wide range of research-based and agronomy projects including 'Lure and Kill' trials for pea and bean weevil control as well as agronomy trials on optimum plant populations/row width interactions in beans. There were also Recommended List plots of field bean and combining pea varieties on the current lists alongside candidates for consideration this autumn and numbered lines for the future.
There was much interest in the 'Lure and Kill' project which is investigating the use of a naturally occurring fungus to control pea and bean weevil and, potentially, bruchid beetle. Currently, the main insecticides available to UK pulse growers for control of both pests are pyrethroids - and there is now evidence of partial resistance developing in pea and bean weevil populations.
In the plots, insects are attracted into inoculation stations using pheromones and exposed to the fungus so that they leave and transfer the spores to their fellow beetles. Field cages help retain a captive weevil population.
If successful, the development of this more targeted approach to pest control with the potential to reduce broadcast pyrethroid applications, will offer a more environmentally friendly option for growers.
Roger Vickers concluded, "The results from all the detailed research and agronomy work carried out here - and at our other trials sites - form the basis of the advice PGRO give to growers in publications, on our web site, and in person at Roadshows and other meetings."
Image: Mark White, PGRO Senior Technical Officer, demonstrates field cages being put in place at the 'Lure and Kill' research project plots ...