Princess wins pea crop challenge

PRINCESS HAS won this year’s British Edible Pulse Association (BEPA) Pea Crop Challenge after producing the highest gross margin of 21 crops, according to the variety’s breeders, Advanta Seeds.

With a yield of 4.32tonnes/ha and price of £160/t, it produced a margin of £430.38/ha, just over £8/ha above a maple type in second, results showed.

Last year was generally very good for peas, although there was some variation depending on whether crops were cut before or after the rain during harvest, commented Advanta’s Bram van der Have.

“Yield last year was quite good. Princess didn’t suffer much disease and it produced the right colour,” he said.

The winning crop, which was submitted by Syngenta, was drilled on 18 March at a rate of 310kg/ha and seed cost of £159.65/ha. Chemical inputs totalled £101/ha.

Second (a ‘mystery maple’) and third (Rose) place varieties were both maple pea types, added the Processors and Growers Research Organisation’s Jim Scrimshaw.

“The mystery variety was long-strawed with inferior standing ability but was harvested before any amount of rain fell, which I suspect would have flattened it.”

By comparison, Rose stands particularly well and did so this year, as well as last when it also performed well, he noted. Rose yielded 4.46t/ha, which at an average price of £140/t, seed costs of £130.39 and input costs of £105.88, gave a gross margin of £388.13/ha.

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