Crops have faced damage from bruchid beetle in the South
PULSE yields are generally up on 2016 but there is local variability in yields and quality, with significant bruchid beetle damage seen in southern crops.
Reports from the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) showed the weather had impacted crops and had ’taken the edge off what looked likely to be exceptional crops in the early season’.
PGRO chief executive Roger Vickers said: “It is now apparent that the short hot spell in June had a negative impact on yield in places and repeated wetting and drying approaching harvest has produced a mixed affair.
"However, yields in general so far are significantly better than crop 2016. There is local variability in both pea and bean crops, with beans perhaps more consistent.
“Reports of pea yields vary from almost 6 tonnes/hectare to as low as 2t/ha. Early harvested peas look to have fared the best, with the persistent showery weather having taken a significant toll on visual quality."
Bean yields were reported as consistently more than 4t/ha (1.62t/ha) and up to 8t/ha (3.2t/acre), with average yields so far reported around 5t/ha (2.02t/ha) – perhaps 30 per cent up on last year, according to Mr Vickers.
“With most of the spring-sown beans still to be harvested, initial indications suggest they may have been slightly out-yielded by winter crops," he added.
“Winter bean quality has suffered too with significant bruchid beetle damage seen in southern crops and more than the usual amount of spot staining which is hard for colour sorters to remove.
“Much of this is unlikely to make human consumption grade and will find a home in the feed market.”
Franek Smith, British Edible Pulses Association president, said as harvest arrived, values for feed beans fell back a little.
Currently standing at about £155/t ex farm, feed beans were approximately £18-20/t above November wheat, which has fallen recently.
The contract high for November 2017 LIFFE was £154.75. At that point, sellers may have been able to achieve £165-£168 ex farm for harvest movement, said Mr Smith.
"Early domestic market interest in the feed market has been suppressed by lack of availability and competitively priced alternative mid protein sources through the summer period", he added.