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Thread: How do you grow spring beans?

  1. #1
    Panzer III
    Guest

    How do you grow spring beans?

    Thought I'd give spring beans a try this year, but having never grown them before I could do with some helpful pointers.

    Frontier buy most beans locally, so we have gone for Fuego, hopefully for human consumption. TGW is 608g, with a few splits and bruchid holed seeds in every handful.

    Wheat stubble was ploughed in October as there was some BG setting seed at stubble height!

    It's a well bodied sandy clay loam, heavy in places.

    Firstly, the trusty Accord drill will be used, and we have the option of either of 2 blanking plates to sow at 25cm or 37.5cm spacing. Rep did mention aiming for 40 plants per meter, so do we go for wider rows with more plants per meter or the reverse?

    Seed depth?

    We could also put on a liquid starter fert if required. What is the fert of choice if we go this route with spring beans?

    Pre em spray?

    Pigeons and rooks?

    What is the best way to get them to their optimum yield, and make the human consumption premium too?

    TIA.

  2. #2
    willb
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Ideally you want to over winter plough but a bit late for that. EDIT I see you have ploughed!

    Wait for good soil temps and a nice seed bed, but be wary of loosing too much moisture.

    Plant them as deep as the drill will let you but do not roll, unless it looks like it is going to be really dry. Or the rooks look like they're going to take a fancy. Up the seed rate from the recommended a tad.

    No fert required, just a pre-em.

    The rest is luck.

  3. #3
    andy26
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Keep a close watch for insect damage right through the growing season, from Bean Weevil in March to Bean aphids in May then Bruchid Beetles in June.

    Although perhaps less of a problem the further North you go. Although insecticides are not expensive you may find you need quite a few sprayer passes.

    Other than that spend as little as possible.

    A pre-em is a must because the only post em for broad leaf weeds is Basagran which is Very expensive.

  4. #4
    ssord
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    could always rent land out to Scottish Borders Produce (Eyemouth)for vining and take all the risk (and fun?) away?

    would imagine they'd sow beans on your land

    usually the land comes back in good order- min till it or plough's up easy after

  5. #5
    Lapwing
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    You might have to keep the drill speed down; we find that they tend to block the standard coulters on a Vaderstad if you try to put too many down at once. They seem to look thin compared to winter beans, but have always outyielded them for us. You want a good level finish as the pods go right down so you end up combining on the deck.

  6. #6
    john6900
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Have you soil tested for lime/fertilizer? We plant them 4 inches deep with a vaderstadt drill, watch out for coulter blockages as well. The pre emerge spray should be put on as soon after sowing as possible, (Roll before spray),
    I would roll it as crows tend to go rooting at them, Pigeons will go at them when they come up green, get a banger and throw a bit of lead at them too..

  7. #7
    Gee
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Few years ago we had a couple of fields of spring beans to cut, managed to have the Combine followed by the Plough folowed by the Combination drill all going in the same field.
    Amazingly all three were well matched for speed.
    Super seed bed after the Beans.
    Roundly condemned by neighbours for showing off.
    Gee

  8. #8
    outsiderofthree
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    We used to grow them but have dropped them from our rotation now. Drill as soon as you can make a reasonable job, anytime after the middle of feb. Drill them 3 - 4" deep, which is as deep as possible with accord suffolk coulters with HD springs. If you get the depth, the crows will not find them. Aim at 30 plants/m2 so drilling 40 seeds/m2 is reasonable. I don't think row width is as important as plant population. Pre em spray. I never saw a pigeon touch them! Plenty of insecticides will probably be needed, and keep an eye on downy mildew. Combining is no problem despite what some will say, fast forward speed, wide concave and slow cylinder, sieves quite wide. Heres hoping you can beat 2t/ac ;-) and you will love ploughing after them!
    Fert; just a maintenance dressing of P and K is all we gave them.

  9. #9
    TC
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    My beans fields are getting 40/Ha for overwintered stubble, quick pass with the horsch FX to warm the soil then in with the Claydon with home saved seed at a decent rate.
    Usually try to get gypsum on for the sulphur.
    Centium/Stomp pre-em with some glyphosphate if required.
    Two fungicides then 4l roundup 4 weeks before you want the wheat in.
    Then the fun of drying.

  10. #10
    Panzer III
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Thanks all.

    You've mentioned a lot of points that I hadn't considered, but you've also left me pondering a few more questions:

    The field is due to be limed with a lowish variable rate and the wheelings lifted with a shakerator before sowing.

    The K is fine, the P is low but again will be variably applied as per the SOYL recommendation.

    If coulter blockage due to seed volume is an issue then perhaps I shouldn't bother with blocking alternate pipes in the distribution head - or do they really need wide row spacing?

    Is there a pre em that will deal with volunteer OSR?

    TC, do beans benefit from large amounts of S, or is your gypsum going on as a general soil improver? I guess your soil Mg levels will be similar to here?
    We have a header extension for the combine, but I'm not so sure its as useful for spring beans as for winter?

    Whats the issue with drying beans? I remember drying fodder peas back in the mid 80's, surely beans can't be as bad (and as dusty) as that?

    letting ground to SBP could an option for the future, as the viners will have the crop off a damn site quicker than for combining beans. Any idea what kind of rent they pay Ssord? (feel free to PM). Always thought you had to buy into SBP to get them to plant on your land?

    I'm starting to see why my agronomist doesn't like spring beans

  11. #11
    agricontract
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    we plant them 8" rows was told once that the bees like to have room to get down to the lower pods seems to work well did a avarage of 2.8 ton a acre with one field nearlly 3.5 ton unforanatlly it was the smallst field at only 3 acres out of 45 acres

  12. #12
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzer III View Post
    Thanks all.

    You've mentioned a lot of points that I hadn't considered, but you've also left me pondering a few more questions:

    The field is due to be limed with a lowish variable rate and the wheelings lifted with a shakerator before sowing.

    The K is fine, the P is low but again will be variably applied as per the SOYL recommendation.

    If coulter blockage due to seed volume is an issue then perhaps I shouldn't bother with blocking alternate pipes in the distribution head - or do they really need wide row spacing?

    Is there a pre em that will deal with volunteer OSR?

    TC, do beans benefit from large amounts of S, or is your gypsum going on as a general soil improver? I guess your soil Mg levels will be similar to here?
    We have a header extension for the combine, but I'm not so sure its as useful for spring beans as for winter?

    Whats the issue with drying beans? I remember drying fodder peas back in the mid 80's, surely beans can't be as bad (and as dusty) as that?

    letting ground to SBP could an option for the future, as the viners will have the crop off a damn site quicker than for combining beans. Any idea what kind of rent they pay Ssord? (feel free to PM). Always thought you had to buy into SBP to get them to plant on your land?

    I'm starting to see why my agronomist doesn't like spring beans

    Coulter blockages are Vaddy territory, never had a problem with accord so far (as long as they are clean, little bits of bean haulm can be a problem). I don't think there is any advantage for wider rows with springs, just don't go too overboard with the seed rate or the bees will struggle to get in there and they'll go taller with no benefit (possibly a detriment) to yield.


    There isn't really much for rape pre em, only PDM on a sola and that isn't great. Then you are back later (before flowers) with something like zone 48 which is expensive. If you do get rape in the bottom you MUST spray it off so the leaves die and blow out of the combine dry, or it just stinks of cabbage and that is not pleasant.

    I'm not sure I'd want spring beans in the borders though, it's normally the first week or two of September before they get cut here in Kent, I could see it being well into October up there.

    Drying beans can be fun, if they are fairly wet it may need two or more runs through the dryer. It seems that it is possible to dry the outside of the bean to 15, only to check next week and find they are back up again. On the floor they take an age (mine are still not quite there now, and will be going a little bit damp).

    If you can get over that lot they are a good break and a very easy entry into wheat without a plough in sight. Not particularly clean though always.

  13. #13
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    only one way to grow beans - spend nothing !

    Direct drill home saved seed into roundup'ed stubble - conserving moisture but them in about 3-4" deep - double the seed rate that PGRO seem to think - thick crops do much better and conserve moisture and do their own weed control better than open thin crop

    NEVER ROLL BEANS - they hate tight soil

    1x herbicide - live with the weeds that it doesn't get ,beans don't need to be "vanity" clean and the pre harvest round up will sort what is missed

    1x amistar and insectcide

    Burn off (only if crop is weedy) miss this step if herbicide worked well

    Harvest


    bigest factor that will decide if you have 1t/ac or 3t/ac will be how much it rains so as you have no control over that the less you spend the less you are risking

    moisture and its conservation is the most important thing - I wouldn't bother with any fert unless you have very low indices or you are just applying a maintenance dressing to cover last years crop off take

    Agronomists hate them (if they are supply) as there is nothing to sell to you ! - they will often try and push all manner of trace element potions - all are bullshit and make no difference to yield when we have tried them

  14. #14
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    double the seed rate that PGRO seem to think - thick crops do much better and conserve moisture and do their own weed control better than open thin crop
    Interesting point - so what seed rate do you mention ??
    I would have thought that 35-40 /m2 would be best, but weed control in thicker crops is a fair point, esp. in beans. On the other hand I would suggest that thicker crops just go up, competing to sunlight and don`t make many seeds/plant !??!

  15. #15
    Derky
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Depth they need to be in over 3 inchs.
    Be prepared for dirty ground as the weeds thrive.
    When combining aim for below 16% then clean so your moisture can be 16% admix 0%. If they need drying then cover up your ears and be prepared to run them round and round and round the drier taking out a percent at a time!

  16. #16
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Are you still selling them on combined moisture and ad mix derky? They stopped that a few years ago round here.

  17. #17
    Derky
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Badshot View Post
    Are you still selling them on combined moisture and ad mix derky? They stopped that a few years ago round here.
    Yes for sure, feed spec go local and thats the way we do it. We often buy in bits and bobs of beans and tidy them making up loads.

  18. #18
    Fendty
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    With great differculty 9 years out of 10!

  19. #19
    Pheasant_plucker
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fendty View Post
    With great differculty 9 years out of 10!
    Spot on.

  20. #20
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartwig View Post
    Interesting point - so what seed rate do you mention ??
    I would have thought that 35-40 /m2 would be best, but weed control in thicker crops is a fair point, esp. in beans. On the other hand I would suggest that thicker crops just go up, competing to sunlight and don`t make many seeds/plant !??!
    I don't even bother getting as technical as TGW /plant populations

    I just sow something around the 220kg/ha mark

    Thick always does much better - less weeds, conserved moisture and more pods in my experience every time

    I know what your saying re light but in practice it doesn't seem to matter

  21. #21
    Badshot
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    If you are sowing around 220kg/ha then it'll be somewhere close to 35-40 seeds/m, which is what PGRO recommend Clive. You must be thinking of the winter bean population being recommended at half your rate. If you were to put double your 220 kg on it would be an interesting experiment.

  22. #22
    Jim Bullock
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    I have no scientific evidence, but it is our experience that beans perform best where you have decent levels of soil organic matter, which explains why we used to have no problem growing 5tons/ha of winter beans and 3.75 tons/ha of spring beans 30 years ago.. But decades of ploughing and power-harrowing has burnt up a lot of SOM and it only now after 15 years DD that we are seeing levels building again. So who knows beans might be back on the menu again...but not until prices reflect the risk (and expense) in growing the crop.

  23. #23
    Hartwig
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    I don't even bother getting as technical as TGW /plant populations

    I just sow something around the 220kg/ha mark
    You`re joking !? I mean TGW can vary from variety and year by 10%, same as germination can - so you end up with 20% more or less plants/m2 by that way !? From my experience with Fuego it was mostly around 250-270 kg/ha for 40 plants.
    From the trials I know, 40 plants were best economic - but better weed suppression is a valuable point in a DDing system, so I wonder if a bit thicker would be better or at least safer ??
    Anybody here mentioned some years before that his yield meter always showed significantly more where it was oversowed on headlands. Anybody with same oberservation ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bullock View Post
    it is our experience that beans perform best where you have decent levels of soil organic matter
    I totally agree. Read in an 60 year old book that nodules need humus to work - matches with my observation that beans really struggle on erodet, loamy hills. Maybe a seed dressing with humic acids or any beneficial microbes would be good then ??

  24. #24
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Not joking at all ! what is the right population anyway (same applies to all crop?) every season will have a different answer

    getting it right is just luck IMO

  25. #25
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Badshot View Post
    If you are sowing around 220kg/ha then it'll be somewhere close to 35-40 seeds/m, which is what PGRO recommend Clive. You must be thinking of the winter bean population being recommended at half your rate. If you were to put double your 220 kg on it would be an interesting experiment.
    When we first grew beans I was told top sow circa 150kg/ha - it was WAY to thin to yield

    maybe PGRO advice has changed since then - I honestly haven't looked at what they recomened for a long time

  26. #26
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bullock View Post
    I have no scientific evidence, but it is our experience that beans perform best where you have decent levels of soil organic matter, which explains why we used to have no problem growing 5tons/ha of winter beans and 3.75 tons/ha of spring beans 30 years ago.. But decades of ploughing and power-harrowing has burnt up a lot of SOM and it only now after 15 years DD that we are seeing levels building again. So who knows beans might be back on the menu again...but not until prices reflect the risk (and expense) in growing the crop.
    Agree totally - beans a complete waste of time on our red sand land that lack OM

    they do well on land with overwintered cover crop of mustard

  27. #27
    shakerator
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    agree with clive

    canopy closure at flowering and beans can be a good cleaning crop. the polygenums that nirvana often fails to control are not a threat to the next autumn crop.

    did a small trial last year and left the insecticide out for bean weevil....it yielded equal or better than the treated area,.... unless severe i think leaf notching is cosmetic only.

  28. #28
    Khan
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Grew 50 acres of Fuego for the first time last year. Combidilled into overwintered ploughing, yielded just under 2T/acres although the dry spring here didn't help emergence and not rolling didn't help. Downsides are they were late out, had hassle getting wheat in after but the sodden harvest was really to blame for that. Drying was a pain too, we propcorned the 50T we kept for home feeding. Will grow them again this year as they fit in well after a catch crop of forage rape following winter barley and it is possible to get wheat in after them unlike maize or spuds round here.

  29. #29
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khan View Post
    Grew 50 acres of Fuego for the first time last year. Combidilled into overwintered ploughing, yielded just under 2T/acres although the dry spring here didn't help emergence and not rolling didn't help. Downsides are they were late out, had hassle getting wheat in after but the sodden harvest was really to blame for that. Drying was a pain too, we propcorned the 50T we kept for home feeding. Will grow them again this year as they fit in well after a catch crop of forage rape following winter barley and it is possible to get wheat in after them unlike maize or spuds round here.
    seriously I would NEVER roll beans - they don't like tight seedbeds

  30. #30
    Andrew Kerr
    Guest

    Re: How do you grow spring beans?

    I am going to a PGRO technical day later this week so will report back on latest thinking ?

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