The countdown is on for spring beans

The cut-off point for spring beans is nearing closer. While some growers will sow the crop into early April, many will use the end of March as the cut-off point.

Varieties

Boxer, Fanfare and Fuego all remain on the recommended list for 2018. Fanfare remains the strongest variety on yield and disease resistance. However, there is no seed available for Fuego this year.

Teagasc recommends sowing 40-45 seeds/m² to establish 30-35 plants/m². This equates to 229kg/ha (14.6st/ac) at a thousand grain weight of 650g, a target establishment of 30 plants/m² and an establishment percentage of 85%.

Beans
Image source: Shane Casey

Fertiliser

Beans will establish best on soils with a pH of 6.5-6.8. Phosphorus and potassium should be applied to the seedbed. Soils low in phosphorus can significantly reduce the yield of the crop.

Herbicide

If weather and temperatures pick up, an important step of husbandry to get right will be herbicide application. A pre-emergence herbicide will work best on spring beans. Basagran is a post-emergence option, but it has a limited weed spectrum.

As with all residual herbicides, they work best on a fine seedbed that has some moisture after spraying. Growers should also aim to establish 30-35 plants/m². This will help to prevent the re-emergence of weeds later in the season.

Glyphosate application, pre-sowing, can reduce the risk of a perennial weed problem. Some herbicide options are included in the table below.

Data source: Teagasc

The use-up period for Lingo finishes on June 3 this year and, as a results, growers who have some in stock should use this product up. If it is not used by this date, it should be brought to a hazardous waste collection.