Spring Bean Crop at CAFRE Greenmount
May 24, 2021
While many farmers will be trying a bean crop for the first time this year Iain Johnston, CAFRE Crops Adviser, points out that they have been grown at CAFRE for many years. Indeed they have formed part of the crop rotation on the CAFRE farm for over a decade and the harvested beans have been used to supplement protein in beef cattle rations at Greenmount Campus.
This year’s crop was planted in the first week of March with a seed rate aiming to establish approximately 45 to 50 plants per metre, which is optimal for vigorous growth and pod production. The only fertiliser used to top up was phosphate (P) and potash (K) as beans are a legume and so produce their own nitrogen. A pre-emergent herbicide was used to reduce competition from weeds. Iain emphasises this timing is important as there are very few products available to treat broad leaved weeds post emergence. The crop will be monitored for grass weeds in the coming weeks and a follow up treatment used, if needed.
The main disease affecting the bean crop in NI is ‘Chocolate Spot’ and Iain advises this is best treated preventatively with a fungicide at early flowering, with the possibility to follow up at mid-flowering if required. It is best to consult with your local BASIS qualified Agronomist for advice on appropriate products, rates and timing.
A short video update on the crop is available via the CAFRE TV YouTube Channel, and will be updated as the season progresses.