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.