7 April 2000

GM worries are good for peas

CONSUMER concerns about genetically modified crops and additional area aid under Agenda 2000 should ensure a continued expansion of the area of peas and beans, predicts a new report from the University of Nottingham.

"The compound animal feed industry accounts for 87% of the market for proteins in the UK," says the report. "Should consumers insist that feeds are GM-free, there will be a large demand for protein derived from sources with appropriate assurance schemes in place. Combinable peas and field beans are well-placed to meet this."

Gross margin analysis also suggests a bright future for these protein crops. Projections for harvest 2002 put spring beans at £481/ha and peas to £449/ha. While this is less than the £523/ha forecast for winter wheat, it is considerably better than oilseed rape and linseed. &#42