British Edible Pulses Association (BEPA)uses of pulses

BEPA is the trade association representing the processors and users of British-produced pulse (mainly combining peas and field beans) crops. BEPA’s key objectives are to liaise with UK government and other national and international associations, & encourage the consumption of home-produced pulses by promoting their value as healthy, high-protein and high-fibre foods, and to liaise with crop scientists and plant breeders.

BEPA President, Chris CollingsOur website brings you the history of BEPA, contact information for all our members, BEPA in the press and media, the latest pulse market prices, and an introduction to the many end uses for UK-produced pulses.

We also give details of the main BEPA contacts - if you would like to know more about BEPA, and the important role pulses play in the UK's agricultural and food sectors, please ask us!

Chris Collings, President

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Forthcoming Events

PULSE ROADSHOWS SEE RECORD ATTENDANCES AND LAUNCH OF THE NEW BEAN AGRONOMY TOOL AND 2016 PULSE AGRONOMY GUIDE

Franek Smith, Vice-President of BEPA, speaking at Peterborough roadshow"With this season's spring drilling imminent, we have seen record attendances at this year's series of PGRO/Syngenta joint roadshows," comments Roger Vickers, PGRO Chief Executive. "The presentations at each event have covered all aspects of successful pulse growing - from establishment to agrochemical programmes - and presentations of 2016 crop marketing prospects from BEPA.

The events featured the launch of the new 'Bean Agronomy Tool' by PGRO's Steve Belcher: "One of the prime drivers of the PGRO is to help and support growers in their decision making for growing successful pulse crops and to optimise their economic output.

"It is a spreadsheet-based decision support agronomy tool using data from the recently ended four-year Optibean project that allows growers to either use standard data - or preferably data from their own farm - to make cost benefit calculations for the comparison of on-farm operations.

"The output includes calculations for plant populations of spring beans for either maximum or economic optimum yield, seed rate calculations, fertiliser recommendations, winter bean fungicide timing/yield loss/cost benefit recommendations, bruchid beetle distribution in the UK, and a weight-loss-in-drying calculator.

"The tool is now available from the PGRO website (www.pgro.org) and updates will be forthcoming. For example, winter bean sowing date /plant populations will be added in the future."

The roadshows also marked the launch of the 2016 edition of the PGRO Pulse Agronomy Guide which comprehensively covers field bean and combining pea production as well as full reference tables of the Pulse Recommended Lists. For this year's edition, the weed control pages have been extensively revised with a a set of pictures of the most common weeds affecting pulses.

"The PGRO/Syngenta roadshows are firmly established as ideal forums for us to inform growers and advisers about the latest developments in the pulse crop markets, agronomy and research - and for attendees to question the experts in person," added Mr Vickers.

THE MARKET FOR FEED BEANS CONTINUES TO ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT THE AVAILABLE CROP (11.12.15)

“The market for feed beans continues to enthusiastically support the available crop,” comments Roger Vickers, Chief Executive of PGRO. “Quality has been a major problem for many who took a late harvest. Even the colour of the very best quality beans will slowly deteriorate in storage, whilst wet beans and beans that had to be extensively dried are likely to oxidise much quicker making their suitability for the Human market more doubtful as the winter progresses. For feed these issues are of little relevance and the market presents are a valuable and welcome home.”

Chris Collings, President of BEPA, comments that feed bean prices have slipped a little further in the last month and now sit at around £120-£125/t ex farm. The premium over feed wheat sitting at circa £18/t. Prices have been depressed on the back of a continued adjustment towards other commodity prices, general increased supply and especially increased abundance of feed quality produce following wet and late harvests. The good news is that buyers for the feed sector remain enthusiastic and committed to the crop meaning that the UK crop has a ready local outlet for the stocks.

Growers considering their crops for 2016 may wish to look at their marketing strategies with possibilities to sell forward. With premiums of circa £20 over November wheat futures being available, beans value at circa £148/t.

For Human Consumption Beans, with currency availability slowing exports, crop is being held in storage for a longer period. Only the best produce is going to hold visual quality through the winter. A marketing decision to consider is presented with premiums slipping to around £15-£18/t, those holding on to some crops in the hope of reaching the export market may be foiled by deteriorating skin quality and neither gain the benefit of a rising market nor early movement. On the other hand, top quality beans kept well in store may just make an improved premium if held back.

The overall message is that pricing, market and political issues emphasise the need for growers to focus on maximising yield and quality and retaining the quality in storage.

Turning to combining peas, marrowfat pea values of £275 delivered continue to command interest in exports from the Far East. Supplies appear to be sufficient to present a small carryover as we progress towards crop 2016. Prices will continue to drift towards the new crop values as the season progresses with new crop contracts set at up to £290/t ex. New crop contracts for crop 2016 marrow fats are available.

Large blue peas values continue to weaken for anything other than top quality and the market appears to be in oversupply with significant carry over likely at this early stage. This is reflected in the fact that unusually in the UK, yellow/white peas are currently trading with a £10-£15 premium over feed blues.

Feed quality blue peas are currently discounted by circa £20 to good quality produce at circa £133-£138/t ex-farm.

In International Markets, poor quality beans are a plenty in France and they are is apparently out of the human consumption whole bean market. The question is whether or not in looking for a market, French beans will be dumped at cheap prices into the UK feed sector, which could have a further negative impact on local values. In other parts of the EU, production ex Lithuania is believed to be of good quality and to have been well received. As this and limited Eastern European production leaves the market, its negative influence upon prices will decline too. UK produce is still preferred.

Canadian faba bean production has been increasing in recent years. Although still at a relatively low level it has this year exceeded local demand meaning that there is surplus. Depending upon quality (although it is thought to be good) this may at some point arrive in the Export markets of Egypt and others. Canadian pea production is circa 0.6 million tonnes lower than last year but consumption and exports remain at similar levels. Dry pea production in the USA is forecast to increase again, to exceed 400,000 ha and, potentially, over 800,000t.

In Egypt, currency availability continues as the main complication in bulk export trades. While, in Sudan, demand has been good but the window to this market is closing rapidly as the annual seasonal import restrictions come in to play.

The faba bean harvest in Australia still has some uncertainty in some regions. There have been well reported searing temperatures of late and the impact upon quality and quantity is unclear. Watch this space.