The UK pulse industry islooking ahead with growing confidence as the excellent performance andreturns for the 2014 crop are carried forward to the 2015 crop and beyond.This was the strong message from Roger Vickers, PGRO Chief Executive, speakingat the organisationss AGM and PulseField Day held at Stubton, Notts.
In 2014, near ideal conditions during the growingseason resulted in overall excellent yields and good prices. In fact, for asignificant number of PGRO pulse levy payers, the 2014 crop became one of theirtop performers in terms of financial returns.
Non-cereal cropping, such as peas and beans, hasbeen given a boost by CAP reforms that are targeted to achieve wider rotationsand reductions on active ingredients for other arable crops. The initialeffects of these reforms were evident in the increased sowings of winter beansin autumn 2014 and spring beans this year.
At the nearby PGRO Pulse Field Day, Mr Vickers joined growers, agronomists andtrade members where the PGRO team demonstrated the wide range of trials onshow. We have responded to observations that some of ourtrials could be better located on typical pulse growing soils byconcluding an agreement with Beeswax Farming to extend our trial locations – wenow have six sites in eastern England with varying soil types well-suited forpulse growing.
At the Stubton site we have a comprehensive set oftrials demonstrating combining peas and field beans from current and newvarieties in the PGRO RL trials system through to research-focuseddemonstrations and displays on projects such as Optibean, BruchidCast and Sitona. These are carried out incollaboration with other leading research organisations including RothamstedResearch and the John Innes Centre. In addition, we have a substantial set ofconfidential work carried out with our commercial partners.
Indeed, it is worth noting that private sector andGovernment sponsored work accounts for around half of PGROs researchactivities and funding, with the equally-valuable income from the growers pulselevy providing the other part.
Roger Vickers added that 2016 will be the United Nations International Year of Pulses:All at PGRO will do their part to use the year as a platform to promote thefuture of the UK pulse crop as CAP reform, improved varieties, agronomy-focusedresearch and market opportunities take us to a new level of pulse growing.