30 November 2001

Go-ahead for lupins in Scotland after success in SAC trials

LUPINS will qualify for protein arable area aid payments in Scotland next year following successful SAC trials with the crop.

The announcement from the Scottish Executive brings payments into line with the rest of England and Wales and has been welcomed by growers and alternative crops experts.

The SAC work at Craibstone, Aberdeenshire, compared two blue-flowered varieties, Bora and Borweta, with spring beans. Both crops were sown May 1, but only the lupins matured sufficiently to combine.

"They were harvested in the second week of September," says Tony Rose, of Gorham and Bateson, which sponsored the trial. Average yield corrected to 15% moisture was 3.7t/ha.

farmers weekly Farmer Focus writer Ron Duncan grew a small area of spring sown yellow-flowered variety Wodjil on his Morayshire farm last summer.

The unusually wet autumn in the area prevented him harvesting the crop, but because of the 35% plus protein content he is convinced it is worth persevering with lupins as a crop for the future.

"I do believe the crop has a big place in Scotland. It stands up and should be no problem to harvest in a normal year – it has just been such a tricky autumn."

Few pH problems are likely given the generally acid nature of soils in the north, adds Edward Willmott of Hants-based alternative crop specialist Premium Crops.

"Lupins should be like oilseed rape – the further north you go with the crop the higher the yield," he says. &#42