Sow beans from now on, and ide­ally be­fore March

Irish Examiner - Farming - - GENERAL FARMING -

Beans left a de­cent profit mar­gin on most farms in 2017. How­ever, they may again be in over-sup­ply in some ar­eas in 2018, so se­cure a buyer and a price.

B e a n s ca n b e so wn fro m now on, and ide­ally be­fore March 1.

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Ma­rine (DAFM) has a rec­om­mended list for 2018. Aim to sow 35 seeds/m2.

Ask your mer­chant for the thou­sand grain weight (TGW), as big bean seeds need high seed rates.

Aim to drill beans at 4” to 5”, to pre­vent crows dig­ging them up.

Pri­ori­tise weed con­trol the day you drill, even if it means hir­ing some­one to spray for you.

Beans can be a dirty crop with lim­ited her­bi­cide op­tions if you miss this key tim­ing. Trial work has shown no yield ben­e­fit from ap­ply­ing ni­tro­gen to beans at sow­ing. How­ever, crops will ben­e­fit from P and K at sow­ing time, es­pe­cially in in­dex 1 and 2 soils.

The op­ti­mum pH is 6.5.

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