New data analysis has highlighted key factors associated with high yielding beans in the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN), in which one in ten crops yielded over 7 tonnes per hectare.
The programme has reported factors not previously recognised, including shoot height and size, and seed size. This is an addition to the importance of large, well-podded plants. Such crops can be achieved by maximising light capture and avoiding stress during flowering and seed fill.
As expected, high yields were associated with good pest and disease control, early sowing, longer season length and late harvesting. Potassium inputs and seed status also appeared to play an important role, with soils with a low phosphorus index being associated with low yields.
Agricultural and environmental consultancy ADAS and the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO) presented results from the network’s third year in a webinar held last month, and they have now published their findings in an online report.
PGRO chief executive Roger Vickers said: “Data collected during 2021 has shown growers the components which associate positively with yield. Through this network, bean growers know where they are going by benchmarking their crops for nutritional, physiological and quality parameters.
“The larger the group of participating growers and the more real farm data we can analyse, the greater the validity of our conclusions. The Bean YEN is now entering its fourth season and I am delighted that entries are increasing each year.”
ADAS physiologist and bean YEN manager Thomas Wilkinson said: “As the network expands and our knowledge grows, we’ll look for seven-tonne crops to become more common.
“In 2022, we will be looking to improve the user experience of the Bean YEN online tool. For instance, we have started to develop individual user accounts and benchmarking online. As this tool improves, members will be able to select and filter results, and make better comparisons.”