8 December 1995

No sign of an increase to pulse aid payments

DESPITE some intensive lobbying in Brussels there is unlikely to be any increase in the area aid available for pulses in the immediate future.

As such, pulse seed specialist John Manners predicts another fall in the sown area for 1996 harvest. But though a number of farmers are now growing second and third wheats in pursuit of the higher margins, the more "professional" growers are sticking with peas and beans as part of a proper rotation, he says.

Mr Manners was making his comments at the same time as announcing the sale of his Berks-based company, John Manners and Son, to farmer-owned United Oilseeds.

The acquisition will give United Oilseeds a stronger foothold in the pulse market.

As well as processing both bean and rapeseed, Manners also has shared agency rights for bean varieties Bourdon and Striker and sole agency rights for winter peas Rafale and Blizzard. &#42