Know How / Pulses

In a tough pulses market, our page aims to help grow a more profitable crop in the face of rising inputs and volatile markets.

This is your starting point for addressing challenges such as disease and weed control, integrating different cultivation techniques, exploring precision farming and protecting the environment.

Key areas of focus:

  • Getting establishment right
  • Planning fungicide strategy
  • Keeping on top of weeds
  • Choosing the right varieties for the right market
  • Meeting market specifications

Advice and tips


What to consider when choosing next year's winter crops

Farmers are being advised to consider crops that will set them up for the next few years, rather than just focussing on those giving the highest returns in the coming…


How to get more from your on-farm crop trials

By taking some practical steps to trial design, one researcher believes farmers can improve the robustness of their tramline and split field trials, leading to more informed cropping decisions. In…


How Britain's bee farmers can help raise crop yields

Britain’s bee farmers could have a key role in helping growers increase arable and fruit crop yields, by providing a targeted pollination service. There are about 400 professional bee farmers in…


Q&A: Tips on using anaerobic digestate as a fertiliser

Using anaerobic digestate to feed arable crops can save farmers up to £110/ha on bagged fertiliser costs. However, there are many rules on its application. Getting it wrong will not…

See all



How winter cropping gross margins stack up for 2017/18

Harvest is underway in some parts of the country, but for most there are still a few weeks to go before the really busy season begins. Now is an opportune time…


Farmer Focus: No-till pinto beans hit a high yield

In December, I planted “dry beans”, better known as pinto beans. It is generally believed here, that dry beans cannot be no-tilled as they have a very weak root system.…


Farmer Focus: Beans drilled into excellent conditions

I really think the spring rush is now worse than the autumn bottleneck. Through April we have had three gloriously spring-like weeks in Ryedale, which is in the south-east corner…


Farmer Focus: Good pea yields as New Zealand harvest starts

There is something about starting the combine on the first morning of the harvest. Eight months since it was cleaned down and carefully put away for the winter, there is…

See all

Case studies


Why wheat is £10/t cheaper to produce with no-till approach

No-till farmers produce wheat for £10/t less than their conventional counterparts, according to a benchmarking exercise of 12 farms in East Anglia. Accountancy expert Gary Markham says that the combination…


Direct drilling is within reach for one organic grower

Oxfordshire grower James Alexander hopes to increase yields while drastically cutting his diesel bill by switching to direct drilling across his 323ha of organic cropping. The direct drilling advocate already…


Why strip-till is key to one farmer's cultivations approach

Strip tillage offers farmers the best of both worlds – a tilled strip offering a good tilth moist, friable, well-draining seed-bed along with some of the benefits of zero tillage. Louise…


Direct drilling brings long-term rewards in Wiltshire

No cultivations have been carried out for the past three-and-a-half years at a Wiltshire farming business, since the decision was taken by the father-and-son team of George and Patric Hosier…

See all



How US farmers are tackling pollution in the Gulf of Mexico

Nutrient run-off from agricultural land is being blamed for the vast oceanic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and farmers have responded by adopting measures more commonly seen in…


Why phosphate fertiliser use on crops may have to change

Current best-practice strategies for phosphate fertiliser use in arable crops are based on feeding the soil to feed the crop, rather than the crop. As a result, the guidance in…


The best spring cropping options for your farm

Arable growers are set to switch further into spring cropping to tackle blackgrass, cut input costs and make the most of niche markets, and spring barley is often seen as…


Expert advice on managing soils better

Soil health has risen to the top of the agenda for the agricultural industry over recent years. At the recent Farmers Weekly Soils in Practice event on a Lincolnshire farm,…

See all



Crop Watch: Learning disease lessons as harvest kicks off

Harvest has already arrived for some winter barley crops on light land and our agronomists are looking at the lessons for next season. One factor that our agronomist agree on…


5 pea and bean pests for growers to look out for

Pea and bean growers should be on the alert for five pests in their crops, and here the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) gives its advice on possible control…


Soya on the rise as area nearly doubles this spring

Tristan Baxter-Smith is part of an expanding group of arable farmers growing soya which has seen the crop’s area nearly double this spring. Looking for a profitable break crop on…


Pulse growers urged to look at traps as weevil numbers rise

Pulse growers are being advised to place traps in their crops following a sharp rise in pea and bean weevil numbers in the recent warm weather. Spring peas and beans…

See all



Video: How 3 farmers spruced up their spray stores

Having the right spray store set-up will help growers stay on the right side of the law, keep valuable spray stocks safe from criminals and save spray operators a significant…


Video: How nozzle choice affects spray quality and efficacy

Selecting the appropriate sprayer nozzle for pre-emergence weed control is an important step in cutting spray drift and maximising the efficacy of the chemicals being applied. There are four key…


Video: Heavy duty drone can cope with changeable UK weather

Farmers are forever being told that in the not-so-distant future drones will become a common crop monitoring tool, but what good is this technology if it cannot withstand the unique…


Video: Grower cuts fuel costs as new drill hits blackgrass

The need to slash soaring fuel costs while tackling blackgrass at the same time has led to a wholesale change in establishment system on one Leicestershire estate. Farming 1,130ha of…

See all