24% increase in pea and bean area raises prospect of losses

The area of pulses grown in the UK has increased 24% to 171,000 ha compared with 2014 due, in large part, to the introduction of the three-crop rule.

Such a large crop area suggests the both peas and beans are making a re-appearance on farms where they haven’t been grown for many years.

This has raised fears that losses caused by pod-shatter may be unnecessarily high if growers don’t take action by applying a suitable pod sealant, such as Pod-Stik.

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”.

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 when applied to beans and 400kg/ha in peas depending on crop condition and efficiency of application, but timing is highly important if the lower pods are to be covered,” he says.

Separate trials have also highlighted the impact of nozzle choice when applying a pod sealant.

“The thicker the crop the more difficult it is to penetrate the canopy and ensure all pods are suitably covered. This is more so with peas than beans because of the greater quantity of biomass.

Consequently, trials have identified that losses can be dramatically reduced when switching to flat fan, rather than angled nozzles before applying Pod Stik to peas,” says Kim Christo.

Table: Comparison of Pod-Stik usage rates, water volumes and nozzle types when applied to combining peas

Application rate Water volume (l/ha) Nozzle type Yield (t/ha) % change versus control
Control 5.17      
Pod-Stik 1.0 l/ha 150 flat fan 6.45 24.8
Pod-Stik 1.0 l/ha 150 angled 5.63 8.9
Pod-Stik 1.5 l/ha 250 flat fan 6.52 26.1
Pod-Stik 250 angled 5.58 7.9


Source: PGRO trials, 2014

The 250 l/ha water volume complies with diquat application conditions.

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.