Protein Crops
9th October 2019

On-farm thoughts from Rob Atkin of Field Farm, Field, Uttoxeter

LG Cartouche spring beans from Limagrain UK

For Rob Atkin of Field Farm, Field, Uttoxeter, it is the perfect opportunity for him to exploit a new market for his bean crop.

“We have grown beans since 2010, and have alternated between springs and winters depending on the rotation. However, with the opportunity to grow for Frontier’s processing plant which is fairly local, it made sense to opt back into spring beans.”

“As an alternative break crop, they have a valuable place in the rotation and if you get beans right, they can be a profitable crop, as they don’t really require high inputs.”

Mr Atkin has chosen to grow the variety; LG Cartouche, as it offers the highest protein content available on the spring bean PGRO Recommended List 2019, sitting 1.3% ahead of any other pale hilum variety at  29.1%.

“To meet the 29% protein target needed by Frontier, it made sense to start at the highest genetic protein base level.” LG Cartouche is also high yielding with very good standing ability and is early to mature. It’s a pale hilum bean, that’s also suitable for the premium human consumption market. “Rob will be following our bespoke agronomy advice, using dedicated yield and protein boosting products to ensure the crop
fulfils this potential,” explains Richard Plant, Frontier agronomist.

“Initial results from trials indicate that some of the new bio-stimulants have a positive effect on yield and protein. When used early in the growing crop, they have improved rooting and nutrient utilisation which  helps in pushing for that extra quality.”

LG Cartouche responds particularly well to this, with its higher base level protein content.” Mr Plant points out that should the beans reach human consumption quality, there is still an option to trade them for the more lucrative human consumption market.

Growing beans for a protein premium


Frontier is offering an attractive price of £40/tonne* for beans above November wheat futures, with an additional £10/t premium for growers who opt for Frontier’s specialist bean agronomy package and achieve the required 29% protein targets.

This comes about with the opening of a new de-hulling plant near Nottingham in July of this year, where beans are processed to produce a protein-rich binding agent that’s attractive to the fish farming industry.

* Contract premium correct as of 18th February 2019. Premiums can go up or down depending on market movement.

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