Agriculture - Combinable Crops, Grass Seeds, Maize & Fodder Crops, Agri Chemicals



Pulses (i.e. Peas, Beans, Lupins) have traditionally been a small crop area in Ireland. However, the recent introduction of the coupled Protein Crop Aid Scheme has renewed interest in growing leguminous crops and as a result the area sown to such crops has risen to an average of approx. 12,000 hectares each year. There is substantial room for further development of this crop area, especially when you consider that Ireland is a massive importer of protein feeds as things stand.

Field Beans

Field Beans (vicia faba) make up 90% of the total pulse area drilled each year, with the majority of this area (>90%) being sown to spring type varieties. Beans generally do very well in most seasons in Ireland, especially on heavier soils, where target yields of 6.0 - 6.5 t/ha can be easily achieved on a consistent basis. However, Goldcrop have observed in recent years that yields of up to 7.5 – 8.0t/ha are also possible with good agronomic practices and favourable weather. Best advice is that the crop should be grown in rotation no closer than 1 year in 6. Beans are high in protein (26 to 28% CP) and are mostly used in animal feeds (both coarse & cubed). There is also a possible export opportunity for beans into the North African market for potential human consumption.

Peas (pisum sativum) are a small crop in Ireland, with an annual area sown of approx 800 ha, all of which is spring sown. Peas are used primarily as a protein source in high value animal feeds (e.g. calf rations), and there is a small production of marrowfat peas also produced in the Kildare area for human consumption. Peas are also used along with cereals (e.g. barley, oats) to sow ‘arable silage’ mixtures, sometimes which are undersown with grass seed. The most commonly grown feed varieties are the large blue / green or white / yellow types which generally yield best and have the best standing power in the field at harvest. Protein content is lower than beans (22 to 24% CP) but peas do not carry any anti-nutritional factors such as tannins which can be an issue with trying incorporate high levels of beans into ruminant diets.

Goldcrop are carrying our screening trials on new pea varieties in 2018 which should have better yield potential and greater lodging resistance – watch this space!




Our Pulse Breeding Partners