Bean YEN launched for 2019

Daniel Kindred

A new Bean Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) has been created for 2019 with the support of PGRO. After two years of intensive pea crop monitoring to gain critical understanding of key issues, the opportunity now exists for a wider base of both pea and bean growers to join in the YEN programme and benchmark their own experience with others.

The Bean YEN is a natural complement to the Pea one and, with similar overall objectives, will look at the different challenges and opportunities for growers with field beans. As the Bean YEN progresses, different approaches between beans and peas will develop driven by plant physiology and agronomic differences. There is more variation in bean row width as direct drilling on wider rows is common and this could affect standard plant counts/establishment. There is the pest/disease pressure on beans to measure - Downy mildew, chocolate spot, rust, bruchid beetle and free-living nematodes. Also in general, bean yields are less variable than peas.

PGRO also run the Bean Yield Challenge which is a competition to find the first grower to reach the target of a 10-tonne field bean crop by 2020. More information about the challenge can be found on the PGRO website. 

Growers and supporters will receive:

  • Soil analyses supported by NRM
  • Leaf tissue analysis supported by Yara Lancrop Laboratories
  • Analyses of crop samples at harvest to give yield components, harvest index & nutrient uptake.
  • Assessment of seed samples at harvest
  • Estimates of biophysical yield potential based on their soil & weather
  • An individual report in autumn benchmarking their crop for a wide range of metrics
  • Analyses of the dataset to find agronomic practices and other factors that relate to crop performance
  • Attendance at a meeting in winter to discuss results and for growers to share their experiences and ideas
  • Newsletters & communications

Growers are asked to provide:

  • Field location, field history & soil information
  • Info on soil management, establishment & agronomic inputs
  • Visual evaluation of soil structure (VESS)
  • Observations on key crop growth stages, including photos
  • Soil, crop & seed samples for lab analysis
  • Accurate yields
  • Score of harvest losses

Interested growers should e-mail to be kept up to date about YEN Bean for next year.