Know How / Pulses

In a tough pulses market, our page aims to help grow a more profitable crop in the face of rising inputs and volatile markets.

This is your starting point for addressing challenges such as disease and weed control, integrating different cultivation techniques, exploring precision farming and protecting the environment.

Key areas of focus:

  • Getting establishment right
  • Planning fungicide strategy
  • Keeping on top of weeds
  • Choosing the right varieties for the right market
  • Meeting market specifications

Case studies

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Organic grower tackles weeds with cereal/legume intercrop mix

Passionate about organic systems, Polly Davies runs an organic mixed farm in South Wales, basing her arable rotation on fertility-building leys of ryegrass and clover. She believes farmers have become…


How did harvest go for our Arable Insights farmers?

It’s been a difficult stop-start harvest across the country, but how have our regular featured Arable Insights farmer panel fared? See also: Harvest 2023: The 5 top-yielding spring barley varieties…


Organic no-till system saves US grower over £1.6m in costs

US farmer Rick Clark calculates that he is taking £1.62m of costs out of his 3,000ha Indiana farm business on an annual basis, thanks to the organic no-till regime he…


Cropping beans helps Dorset grower in move to regen farming

Beans are an ideal move towards regenerative farming for Dorset grower and contractor George Fraser. The crop is well suited to direct-drilling, requires few inputs and improves the structure and fertility…


Beans make reliable and low-input break crop for arable farm

Norfolk grower Rob Alexander has turned to winter and spring beans as more reliable low-input break crops. He finds the crop much less risky than oilseed rape and causes less…


Peas widen rotation and lower input costs for Norfolk grower

David Wroth is incorporating combinable peas into his extended six-year crop rotation after two successful seasons. He sees them as the best combinable crop to cope with the now-commonplace dry…

Practical advice

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5 steps to better winter bean establishment

Winter beans are often seen as a second-choice break crop behind oilseed rape, especially in challenging seasons such as 2023, but establish them well and they can still be a…


Crop Watch: Choose wheats with good disease resistance

After a tough season for controlling disease in winter wheat, growers are being urged to look carefully at variety choice for next season and chose those with good disease resistance…


Advice for winter bean crops hit with chocolate spot disease

Winter bean crops have been struck by a widespread influx of chocolate spot. Growers are advised to spray infected crops earlier than usual if weather remains unsettled to get on…


Aphid-borne pea virus 'can cut yields by 40%'

An aphid-spread virus, known to affect oilseed rape crops, is now being seen hitting combine pea yields by as much as 40%. This may explain why pea yields have not…


How to achieve the most effective cover crop destruction

Cover crops are becoming a mainstream option for growers, but their successful destruction ahead of spring cropping is greatly dependent on the type of cover species sown, timing and removal…


The Soil Health Scorecard: What it is and how to use it

A new way to quantify soil health allows farmers to measure any improvements over time, as well as identify potential problems that could be holding yields back. Until now there…


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How key spring crop choices stack up for harvest 2023

Despite high input prices, good autumn conditions and the lure of high wheat prices at the time of drilling are likely to mean a larger area of winter cereals this…


How starter fertiliser can raise pulse yields by 17%

Applying a novel starter fertiliser can increase pea and bean yields by an average of 17%, according to three years of trials carried out across the UK. There is renewed…


Why farmers need to change their propyzamide use

Industry heads remain buried in the sand on the issue of propyzamide in water, and one expert says urgent change is needed if it has any chance of regulatory survival.…


Tips on reviewing arable crop rotations

This autumn may see rotational changes on farms, as producers grapple with the combined effects of reducing basic payment (BPS) incomes, volatile crop prices and hikes in input costs.  But…


Can silicon crop sprays benefit growers this season?

Despite silicon being the world’s second most abundant element, making up 25% of the earth's crust, crops can still benefit from its application, which has a vital role in plant…


Soil carbon: Targets and how to store it in arable fields

Farmers have a huge opportunity to help combat climate change by reducing emissions with the adoption of less intensive cultivations, as well as capturing and storing carbon in their fields. …


How the different spring crop gross margins compare for 2022

Spring sowings are likely to be down this year, due to the favourable autumn drilling conditions. But there will still be plenty of fields going under the drill – and…


The project tackling flood risk and improving water quality

Yorkshire farmers are working together to improve the health of their soils, in a unique initiative that could play a key role in tackling the flooding risk in Hull and…


What the three new additions to pulse variety list offer

The Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) has added three new varieties to its 2022 Descriptive Lists for pulse crops. The three additions include a green pea that is now…


The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in NI and Scotland

Nitrate vulnerable zones exist to protect the environment against potential pollution from fertiliser and manure applications. Each devolved nation has its own rules – so what do arable farmers need…


4 slug pellet myths busted for better control

The withdrawal of metaldehyde means growers will soon only have ferric phosphate slug pellets to count on when managing this devastating pest. However, there are a number of myths on…


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Video: How to properly set up a crop sprayer

Crop spraying is one of the most important and highly skilled jobs undertaken on any arable farm, but it is facing increased public scrutiny. This is why it is vital…


Video: How to calibrate your slug pellet spreader

Slug pellets and the potential harm they can cause to watercourses is under intensifying scrutiny. Making sure pellet spreaders are properly set up will be vital to avoid breaching the…

External resources

PGRO Pulse Descriptive Lists 2022

Download lists

PGRO Agronomy Guide

View guide