"In a year when the spring pulse acreage is under pressure from high cereal and oilseed rape prices, it is worth remembering the underlying benefits of growing pulses, and also keeping an eye on the higher-yielding varieties now coming through,' comments Theo Labuda, managing director of LS Plant Breeding Ltd.
"Our spring bean Fury is the highest-yielding variety on the PGRO Recommended List of spring beans 2011 with good agronomic characters – including resistance to downy mildew. This year there is only limited seed available but, with Fury yielding a very positive 5% above the current market leader, it looks set to take a strong position in the market in the future.
"As growers make the final decisions on their spring cropping, it is worthwhile adding in the agronomic benefits of a spring pulse crop to the basic figures on their spreadsheets. For a start, pulse prices are being pulled up along with those of wheat and oilseed rape. And, looking at crop inputs, an increasingly large part of the returns from growing pulses comes from the nitrogen provided to the following crop in the rotation, particularly given increased N input costs.
"All-in-all, this is a year when spring pulses have a firm place in the spring cropping and, along with the established varieties, the 5% yield benefit alone of Fury will give a further boost to the bottom line.'