Use Pod-Stik to protect bean crops

Those with crops of field beans are being advised to consider applying a pod sealant to protect against losses during combining.

According to trials performed by the Processors & Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) applying the pod sealant Pod-Stik delivered a “consistent increase in yields compared with untreated crops”.

With ex-farm prices for November currently trading at £180-185/tonne before premiums the margin over feed wheat of £70-73/tonne is at an historical high so any intervention that reduces losses should not be overlooked, says the PGRO’s trials officer Jim Scrimshaw.

“For some growers beans are likely to be one of the more profitable crops this harvest so it makes good sense to protect yields through an application of Pod-Stik,” he says.

Although bean crops will be nearing harvest Mr Scrimshaw says it is still worthwhile applying a pod sealant to reduce header losses.

“Unlike oilseed rape where it is more important to seal the pods in the upper raceme of the plant it is the lower pods of the bean plant that tend to become brittle and at-risk of splitting. It makes sense to wait until crops are sufficiently senesced to allow good penetration,” he adds.

Kim Christo of Pod-Stik manufacturer De Sangosse says trials have shown that it is best applied at Growth Stage 80 when pods become black.

“We know from work over successive years that Pod-Stik delivers an average yield saving of almost 600 kg/ha depending on crop condition and efficiency of application, but timing is highly important if the lower pods are to be covered,” he says.

Pod-Stik can be applied alone or with a desiccant such as glyphosate or diquat, but in all cases it is important that sprayer lines and nozzles are flushed with clean water to avoid any blockages after use.