Feed buyers face “variable” field bean production from UK sources

The “enthusiastic” sourcing of field beans by the UK feed industry is currently being carried out against a background of reports of “variable” performance across the UK’s new pea and bean crops and a “terrible time” for French bean growers.

Balancing these negatives, however, is a pulses supply prospect from the Baltic States, where conditions have apparently been “good so far” with further good quality and quantity forecasts being made for 2016 output.

“The new (UK) crop has received variable reports for both pea and bean crops around the regions,” said PGRO chief executive, Roger Vickers, adding that there are concerns for beans, with apparent low pod set in some crops.

“Whilst pod set in peas appears normal, there are reports of low seed numbers. Both of these issues are likely directly related to the very poor weather that had been cold and persistently very wet during the main flowering season.”

BEPA president, Chris Collings, added that the French bean crop, meanwhile, was again “reportedly poor” with the French having a terrible time all round. This was in sharp contrast to production conditions in the Baltic States.

“Feed beans are valued at around £145 a tonne ex-farm, at present,” he said, adding that demand from the UK feed industry remained “enthusiastic”.

PGRO, which is a non-statutory levy body, is the UK’s centre of excellence for peas and beans.

The British Edible Pulse Association (BEPA) is the trade body for processors and users of British-produced pulses, mainly combining peas and field beans.

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