Growing Spring Beans in 2015

Reasons to grow Spring Beans

1. NEW Protein subsidy of €250/ha (€101/ac) is available.
2. Dairygold are offering contracts to grow Spring Beans at a minimum guaranteed price of €180 per ton at 20% moisture. Based on Teagasc 2015 crops costs and returns, to deliver a €100/acre margin (excluding the protein subsidy), a 2.6 tonne/acre yield is required. This compares favourably to Spring Barley where a 3.7 tonne/acre yield is required to deliver a €100/acre margin!
3. It is an excellent break crop for cereals.
4. Beans satisfy two of the new ‘Greening’ requirements i.e. a different crop under the two/three crop rule and as an Ecological Focus Area (EFA).
 
Growing Guidelines for Spring Beans
Rotation: Allow 4 years between Bean (or Pea) crops; and 3 years between Beans and OSR.
Varieties: Fuego is tried and trusted in Ireland but there will be some Fanfare and Boxer available which trials suggest is higher yielding. 
Time of Sowing: Ideally Mid-January to late-February (early sown crops tend to be more successful).  Crops can be sown in early to mid-March but this runs the risk of reduced yield and later harvesting.
Seed Bed Preparation: Aim for a firm, fine seed bed similar to a grass re-seed.  Avoid compaction.  Drill Beans to a minimum of 7.5cm (3 inches) deep.
Fertiliser: 
The target pH for Spring Beans is 6.5-7.0.  Nitrogen (N) is not required as Beans fix N.  Apply Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) requirements to the seedbed but avoid combine drilling which can affect germination.

1. NEW Protein subsidy of €250/ha (€101/ac) is available.

2. Dairygold are offering contracts to grow Spring Beans at a minimum guaranteed price of €180 per ton at 20% moisture. Based on Teagasc 2015 crops costs and returns, to deliver a €100/acre margin (excluding the protein subsidy), a 2.6 tonne/acre yield is required. This compares favourably to Spring Barley where a 3.7 tonne/acre yield is required to deliver a €100/acre margin!

3. It is an excellent break crop for cereals.

4. Beans satisfy two of the new ‘Greening’ requirements i.e. a different crop under the two/three crop rule and as an Ecological Focus Area (EFA).
 
Growing Guidelines for Spring Beans

Rotation:Allow 4 years between Bean (or Pea) crops; and 3 years between Beans and OSR.
Varieties: Fuego is tried and trusted in Ireland but there will be some Fanfare and Boxer available which trials suggest is higher yielding. 
Time of Sowing: Ideally Mid-January to late-February (early sown crops tend to be more successful).  Crops can be sown in early to mid-March but this runs the risk of reduced yield and later harvesting.
Seed Bed Preparation: Aim for a firm, fine seed bed similar to a grass re-seed.  Avoid compaction.  Drill Beans to a minimum of 7.5cm (3 inches) deep.
Fertiliser: The target pH for Spring Beans is 6.5-7.0.  Nitrogen (N) is not required as Beans fix N.  Apply Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) requirements to the seedbed but avoid combine drilling which can affect germination.a

Seeding rate: Sow to achieve an established plant stand rather than by seed weight. It is important to take account of thousand grain weight (TGW) as big variations can occur between varieties. The target plant population is in the region of 25-35 plants/m2 evenly spaced across the field which depending on TGW could mean sowing rates of anywhere between 150 and 275Kg/ha (9.7-17.5 st/ac).

 

Weed Control

The main option is Nirvana at 4.5L/ha pre-emergence.  

Lingo (good on Cleavers and Groundsel but can cause transient scorch) can also be used, usually in a mixture with reduced rate Nirvana e.g. 1.5L/ha Lingo + 3.5L/ha Nirvana pre-emergence.   

Defy (good on meadow grass, cleavers and volunteer oilseed rape) is an off label option used in combination with Nirvana i.e. 4.0L/ha Defy + 2.5L/ha Nirvana pre-emergence.  

 

Grass weeds can be controlled effectively with an appropriate graminicide.

 

Pests

-Crows and other birds can be troublesome in the emerging crop. Deep sowing and rolling after sowing helps prevent bird damage.  Use bird scarers and shooting if damage occurs.

-High numbers of Black Bean aphids can reduce yields. If more than 10% of plants affected, spray with a systemic insecticide.

-Adult Bean Weevils feed on young leaves in spring leaving U-shaped notches on leaf edge. Larva feeding on root nodules can significantly reduce yield. Control adults before egg laying with a contact insecticide.

 

Fungicides:

-Chocolate Spot: This is the most widespread and damaging disease of beans. It is favoured by wet, humid weather and thick crops. Spray at the first signs of infection (usually at flowering) and repeat 14 days later.  Best option is 0.75 Kg/ha Signum but note all options for Chocolate Spot are protectant only and therefore must be applied early.  Signum also offer control of Ascochyta and Bean Rust.

Chocolate Spot is the biggest disease threat to Beans and available fungicides are protectant only

 

-Downey Mildew: Attacks the youngest leaves of the plant and can cause significant yield loss particularly in wet seasons. Treat (off label recommendation only) with 2 Kg/ha Dithane 945 (protective properties only) at start of flowering or 2 Kg/ha Ridomil Gold MZ (curative and protective properties) if significant infection has already occurred.

 

Harvesting: September to early October depending on sowing date and weather.

Get in touch 

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