Pulse Agronomy Guide

Introduction

To grow pulses successfully growers and their advisors need access to sound information and expert agronomic advice. The PGRO levy-funded Recommended List remains a core tool for those of us involved in growing pulses and Frontier is proud to support it.

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2019 harvest year was quite a contrast on its predecessor and was exceptional in many ways for pulse growers. A warm spring and summer with plenty of timely rainfall delivered yields in excess of 6t/ha for many bean growers. The downside of short hot spells was that it also created the perfect environment for bruchid beetles. Consequently, most of the bean crop failed to make the grade for the premium human consumption market. However, feed values held up well making bean gross margins the best growers had seen for many years.

Looking at 2020, following an extremely wet and challenging autumn drilling period for cereal crops, we have seen a lower planted area. Farmers will look to spring cropping alternatives and pulse planting will be higher. This is likely to mean that new crop prices will come under some pressure.

Despite this, the market outlook for pulses remains positive. We are seeing continued strong demand for human consumption beans and growing interest in beans as a source of alternative protein for feed manufacturers who keen to find home grown protein rather than relying on imported soya. Agronomically, pulses are a great break crop offering many benefits such as improved soil nutrition and fertility and aiding farmers battling problem grassweeds.

With very best wishes for a successful season for pulse crop growers and the wider supply chain.

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Mark Aitchison
Managing Director, Frontier Agriculture   

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