Pea and beangrowers are being advised to consider protecting crops against the risk ofsplit pods in the build-up to harvest and safeguard yields.
With cerealharvest starting late across the country it is likely that pea and bean cropswill be similarly delayed and with crops looking in good shape growers arebeing advised to apply a pod sealant such as Pod-Stik to protect against lossesdue to pod shatter.
Peter Smithof Wherry & Sons reports that most bean crops, especially winter sowncrops, are in good shape having podded well.
Wintertypes are in better shape than spring sown crops as they flowered before theonset of dry weather in July. In crops which flowered later we have seen some splayingof pods, he says.
With cropsin good shape and prices commanding a 50-60/tonne premium over feed wheat hesays growers should be prepared to protect their crop in case of adverseweather.
Its aboutprotecting what is there. We know from the experience of oilseed rape that warmand wet days increase the stress on pods and lead to increased shattering. Withmarrowfats trading upwards of 300 per tonne and feed beans upwards of200/tonne plus premiums a bad year for split pods could result in heavy lossesand potentially affect quality, says Peter Smith.
Some growershowever, have found applying a pod sealer reduces the risk of losses in the runup to harvest and at the time of combining.
According toDe Sangosse, trials have shown that applying Pod-Stik can significantly reducelosses in both winter beans and spring peas, just as it does in oilseed rape.
Pod-Stikworks by bridging the pod seam, where the pod starts to split due to maturityand repeated wetting and drying. Independent trials have shown that Pod-Stik can save up to 0.6t/ha inboth winter beans and spring sown peas, says De Sangosse commercial managerSimon McMunn.
Applied at1 litre per ha with a water rate of 100-300 litres with or without a desiccantPod-Stik costs about 10/ha. With pea prices upwards of 200/tonne itrepresents an instant pay back of up to 20:1, adds Simon McMunn.