French early indications are that the crop is again inferior to the UK produce and smaller in volume which bodes well for the prospects of UK crop marketing.

Canadian crops continue to face serious issues. Harvest is becoming late, it is wet and crops are becoming bleached. This may present opportunities in European markets for UK produce later in the year. Transport across Canada is also affecting prices. Rail haulage is problematic, competing with other uses and road transport is significantly more expensive. It was noted recently that 20 train cars carrying peas were overturned in a transport accident. There are few if any offers out of Canada at the moment.

Feed beans are all but harvested, with just a few isolated crops still to gather. In general the crop has yielded well and whilst bruchid damage is higher than last year it is about average for recent times. Roughly ¼ of the crop sits firmly in the feed bean bracket with a further ½ of mixed quality potential. The market is currently faced with significant purchase opportunities and the prices for feed beans have fallen. Current values are approximately £165- 175/t ex farm and feed buyers are more or less trading to requirements, the supply chain requirement is full. This and falling commodity prices in general is having a downward effect on values.

Human consumption bean export markets were extremely active at the start of the month as French crops were late to harvest. Perhaps following uncertainty in the referendum and associated currency movements interest stalled. The supply chain is nicely stocked as vessels sail but demand is still there. About half of the UK crop is of variable quality, better than feed but not quite top grade for Human consumption. It is important the market continues supplying the best quality, to maintain the UK reputation and keep the demand for UK produce over French high. A circa £35/t premium over feed beans exists and demand is still good. As the best quality produce is consumed the premium is likely to reduce. In 6 to 8 weeks time the market will also face competition from the new Australian crop. Growers with good quality samples are likely to be tempted to sell now to achieve the best prices.

Combining Peas

Blue peas have yielded well with many reporting averages typically around 4t/ha. Quality is generally also good but this means that the buyers are able to source to requirements and the market is generally flat. Previously reported soaking issues are believed linked to early crop dormancy and where present are expected to disappear. News from Canada indicates potential opportunities may arise in export markets later in the year but the current ex farm price is typically £220- 230/ t. Poor samples will take a heavy hit.

Marrowfat pea prices remain strong. 2014 UK yields have been disappointing in general. The trade started in a clean position having not managed to recover a stock position since the 2012 crop year. The market is effectively already sold out. Prices for remaining parcels of peas are high (circa £350/t ex farm). Quality has also been disappointing with significant moth damage perhaps highlighting a need for greater attention to monitoring at field level and improved timing of control measures.

Agronomy notes


Bruchid beetles appearing in grain heaps will cause no additional damage if not controlled. Take advice from your grain merchant regarding their control requirements.

Metaldehyde Stewardship

Take metaldehyde stewardship seriously to minimise the negative impact on agriculture and the crop protection industry. For more information visit

Winter bean drilling

Don’t be in too much of a hurry. The ideal time recommended is earliest last week in October. Beans up too early will suffer disproportional winter damage and early disease. Be patient and wait for the end of October/ early November before drilling. Alleviate and avoid soil compaction and use the intervening time to “stale seed bed”.

Farm Saved Seed

For all your questions regarding farm saved seed: