Ploughing down Winter beans
COULD you advise on the latest safe timing for ploughing down winter
beans (variety Target)?
Stephen Johnson, Johnson Farms
Response Mike Bearman, PBI Cambridge
In normal circumstances ploughing target winter beans in up until Christmas would be fine. You can get away with doing it in January but once you go beyond Christmas you do run risks of whether you get sufficient cold to vernalise them.
What most people do when drilling beans after potatoes or sugar beet is judge by whether they can get on the land to plough. If it is very wet there is a risk the beans could go mouldy before they germinate but only if it is extremely wet and waterlogged.
Sowing rate is around 25-27 seeds/sq m to give 18 plants/sq m coming out of the winter. That might be increased to 30 seeds/sq m if conditions suggested seed losses could be high.