6 December 1996

First-timer is top producer of UKpeas

A FIRST time pea grower has won top prize in the 1996 National Dried Pea and Bean competition.

Grant Cuthill, manager of Healaugh Farms, Manor West, Healaugh, Tadcaster took the championship with a sample of Bunting marrowfat peas from his 59ha (145 acre) crop.

"I went by my own instincts and followed the advice of Van Den Bergh Foods fieldsman Keith Costello," says Mr Cuthill.

The crop was sown in early April. With just enough rain to keep it going, it was treated with two fungicide sprays, cut in the third week of August and yielded 4t/ha (1.6t/acre).

Produce was assessed for trueness to type, uniformity of colour and size, and freedom from stains and defects. Peas were then cooked and canned with points awarded for appearance, evenness of colour, texture and taste.

&#8226 The new bean championship was won by Herbert and Son (Farmers) at Bank House, Middledrove, Wisbech with a crop of Victor. It was organised by Magiva, an international trading organisation, to increase grower awareness of export potential.