We Lead by Example

Bean Husbandry & Varieties2019-06-24T09:04:38+00:00

Field Beans, have been cultivated and used as a valuable source of energy and protein in both farm animal and human diets for centuries.

  • Medium to heavy soils are most suitable.
  • The bean plant is soft and lush when growing most actively and is therefore susceptible to drought stress.
  • Very light soils should be avoided.
  • Fanfare is the variety that is available for the 2016 growing season.
  • A pH of 6.5 to 7 is essential.
  • Beans will not tolerate acidic soil conditions.
  • The normal fertilizer dressing is 3 x 50kg 0–7–30 per acre, but this can vary up or down depending on soil fertility levels.
  • Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese are important and if deficient, corrective action must be taken.
  • Beans can be sown anytime from mid-January to the 20th March.
  • The first sowing opportunity should be availed of.
  • Sowing spring bean varieties pre-Christmas (i.e. November/early December) has been superseded by early post-Christmas sowings because of inconsistent results mainly due to disease problems.
  • Drilling using the ‘one-pass’ system, has largely taken over from ‘ploughing-in’ for post-Christmas sowings.
  • If ‘ploughing-in’ post-Christmas, it is essential to surface cultivate before sowing followed by full cultivation of the sod after ‘ploughing-in’.
  • Seed must be treated with a suitable dressing to reduce palatability for bird pests.
  • Where drilling beans to a depth in excess of 3” it is vital to ease off on forward speed.
  • Research has shown a 0.2 tonnes per acre advantage for drilling compared with ‘ploughing-in’ post-Christmas.
  • The 1000 grain weights of Beans can vary greatly depending on variety, season etc.
  • In our climate a plant stand of 25 to 35 plants/sq. metre is adequate.
  • Over-seeding is a recipe for drawn, weak, disease-prone crops, with suboptimal yields.
  • Simazine and Paraquat are no longer available. They used to be used at 1.0 to 1.5 litres per hectare plus Paraquat at 0.33 to 0.5 litres per hectare applied as the crop was starting to emerge (i.e. before 10% emergence).
  • Nirvana is now the standard treatment. Apply at 4.5 lts/ha immediately after sowing. It should not be used once seeds have started to sprout or post emergence. A soil cover of at least 25mm over the seeds is important when using Nirvana.
  • Graminisides like Stratos Ultra; Fusilade etc. will deal effectively with Scutch, Wild Oats and other grasses.
  • The three important diseases of the Fabia Bean crop, namely Chocolate Spot, Ascochyta Leaf and Pod Spot, and Downy Mildew are all diseases of cool, wet, humid conditions, hence the importance of reasonable air circulation within the growing crop.
  • Healthy seed and good rotation are important.
  • Chemical disease control is based on a preventative strategy.
  • Signum is now the leading fungicide for disease control in beans.
  • Chlorothalonil is a very important part of disease control in beans.
  • If Downy mildew is becoming a threat, use products containing methalaxyl e.g. Folio Gold or Ridyml Gold.
  • Birds are the major threat to beans for the first few weeks after sowing.
  • Good field hygiene, proper sowing depth & early vigilance is vital.
  • Black Bean aphids appear in crops every season, particularly near headlands. Spraying is seldom necessary.
  • Adult Bean Weevil feed on the young leaves in spring producing the characteristic U-shaped notching. However it is the grubs of this pest feeding on the root nodules that cause significant yield reduction. Spray timing is difficult, but to be effective, must be applied before adults lay their eggs in the soil at the base of the plants.
  • Stem Nematode (Eelworm); It is vital that all seed is certified free of Stem Nematode
  • Average yield = 2.25 tonnes per acre, but can vary from 1.5 to 3.5 tonnes per acre.
  • Harvesting generally occurs mid September to early October.
  • Beans are naturally very weather proof and will be quite safe in the field if harvesting date does get delayed