Pulses are leguminous crops that are high in protein content

Pulses is a general term that covers many crops like Beans, Peas, Lupins, Vetches and Soybean. Such crops are also classified as legumes – i.e. the fix their own Nitrogen from the atmosphere (similar to clover). The produce from these crops is generally high in protein content, which is something that is always in demand both in animal feed and human food consumption. Pulses are also considered as excellent break crops in cereal rotations.

The national area of pulses grown in Ireland ranges from 8,000 to 14,000 hectares per annum. The largest crop grown here are Field Beans (vicia faba) which typically make up 85% of the total area. The introduction of the EU Protein Aid Scheme in 2015 has helped to increase the area of pulses grown in Ireland, and it is now seen as a key aim of the EU under their new Farm to Fork programme to massively increase the production of proteins in the EU, rather than depending on imports from other regions. Pulses can also give environmental benefits with lower artificial fertiliser requirements, as well as being flowering plants that harbour pollinators like bees.


Field Beans are Irelands most widely grown pulse crop, with on average about 10,000 hectares planted each year. It is mainly spring type varieties that are grown with sowing taking place typically from February to early April. There are also some new winter varieties that will offer growers additional flexibility on sowing dates, but there seems to be little difference in yield potential between either type at this stage. Beans grow best on heavier, high pH soils that retain moisture, and they do not perform well in dry years. Sowing date is also important when trying to maximise yields.

All beans grown in Ireland are used in animal feeds, typically for ruminants only, although recent research has shown that beans can be included in pig diets. Currently we are producing about 50,000 tonnes of beans per annum but there is huge scope to increase this going forward.



Especially selected by Goldcrop due to its rating for excellent lodging resistance at harvest,…


Also selected by Goldcrop on the basis of standing ability at harvest - KINGFISHER is the second…


High yielding variety (101) fully recommended by DAFM for spring sowing. Very similar traits to…


Highest yielding variety (101) also fully recommended by DAFM which has been the most popular…


Highest yielding variety on current Rec List (106). Also the highest yielding pale hilum variety on…