As we move into April there will be many who are now significantly behind in their spring sowing campaign, the prolonged cold having been succeeded by continuing wet soil conditions, comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO.
“With limited opportunities for good soil and sowing conditions, the rush is on to make the most of April for spring bean and pea sowings. While sowings of beans beyond the latter half of April may start to impact yield potential, the good news is that
the chances of bruchid beetle damage are also reduced, increasing the opportunity for reaching human consumption export premiums.
“The prospect of later April sowing might tempt some growers to consider switching out of a pulse crop this spring, but it is still too early to see that step as an option. That said, the trade has long been forecasting a bean area fall of around 10% this spring and for peas to fall by up to 25%.
“As European export quality beans have dried up, Australian beans have increased in value, rising approximately $30/tonne. Along with rising alternative protein market, values this has seen a rise of approximately £4/t in feed bean prices over the month.
“The outlook for new crop pulses is considered to be good. Beans are being well supported by the feed users and the human consumption market will be hungry for the new crop. New crop peas of good quality and colour retention will once again be in strong demand as there is no carry over from 2017 harvest. Quality is always the key for export premiums.
“The French bean area stabilised at around 82,000ha in 2017 with peas around 142,000ha. Interestingly, chickpea and lentil production rose significantly to 33,300ha (double) and 19,500ha (up 67%) respectively with French producers enjoying a coupled aid for protein crops of Euros 111.50/ha.”