Preventing pea and bean crops' pods splitting
Pea and bean growers are being advised to consider protecting crops against the risk of split pods in the build-up to harvest, and safeguard yields.
With cereal harvest starting late across the country it is likely that pea and bean crops will be similarly delayed and with crops looking in good shape growers are being advised to apply a pod sealant such as Pod-Stik to protect against losses due to pod shatter.
Peter Smith, of Wherry & Sons, said most bean crops, especially winter sown crops, were in good shape, having podded well. "Winter types are in better shape than spring-sown crops as they flowered before the onset of dry weather in July. In crops which flowered later we have seen some splaying of pods," he said.
With crops in good shape and prices commanding a £60 per tonne premium over feed wheat, he said growers should be prepared to protect their crop in case of adverse weather.
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"It's about protecting what is there. We know from the experience of oilseed rape that warm and wet days increase the stress on pods and lead to increased shattering. With marrowfats trading upwards of £300 per tonne and feed beans upwards of £200 per tonne, plus premiums, a bad year for split pods could result in heavy losses and potentially affect quality," said Mr Smith.
Some growers found applying a pod sealer reduced the risk of losses in the run up to harvest and at the time of combining. Trials have shown that applying Pod-Stik can significantly reduce losses in both winter beans and spring peas.
It works by bridging the pod seam, where the pod starts to split due to maturity and repeated wetting and drying.