A survey by Defra revealed the bean acreage in the UK was up by 5.2 per cent to 173,000 hectares while the protein pea acreage had risen 18.7 per cent to 49,900 hectares.
However, Roger Vickers, chief executive of PGRO – the research and advisory organisation for peas and beans – was not optimistic about yields.
“The average yields harvested so far look to be significantly down on crop 2015 and below the long-term average, so the full supply and demand picture remains cloudy,” he said.
Vickers attributed the cold and wet spring as a major cause of the lower crop yields in general, adding: “Pea yields seem to have averaged between 2.5t/ha and 3.2t/ha and quality is generally good. Early bean quality by contrast has been poorer than normal.
“All commodities appear to have a somewhat pessimistic trade prospect led by the value of feed wheat, but pulse producers should remember the added value of their pulses to the whole rotation, soil and subsequent crops.
“Variability has so far been the watchword. It is not unusual to have variation between regions, but there have been unusual differences even between growers and fields at local level.”