Lupins

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Anyone consistently had success growing lupins?
Define consistent. Obviously Lupin yield can vary with the weather, just the same as every other agricultural crop. I’ve grown them for years and would like to think we’ve been successful, and to be completely fair the soil type I grow them on would be described as far from ideal as it’s heavy. They definitely won’t grow in very alkaline soils. On the plus side if you can get them in decent conditions and the weather plays ball for a decent pre em to work then there’s not much to do with them once they’ve established until harvest. Key to establishment is waiting until soil temperature is high enough so the emerge quickly and preserving the moisture in the seedbed. It pays to keep an eye on them whilst emerging and keep on top of any slug and pigeon pressure, the latter until the plants have true ( palmate) leaves. If you’re not successful with your pre em there are still some reasonable herbicides you can use. They don’t normally need a fungicide. Harvest in a normal year is third week in August for blue and second week in September for whites. The whites will out yield blues but the blues pip whites if harvest date is important to you, bear also in mind that harvest date might be important now we can’t use Reglone. I’ve had blues that I reckon I could have got away without desiccating but I wouldn’t want to guarantee it. There are alternatives to Reglone that can be used. Once dry harvesting is easy, they don’t shatter like peas or beans, I’ve never known them go flat and the stalks razor up to dust. Worth growing if only for the following crop of wheat, they do wonders for soil structure, fix N and exude citrates from their roots to make P available to the following crop.
They’re not easy to market unless you’re growing them for seed. If you want to feed your own, or neighbours, animals they’re probably worth twice ( in feed value not financial ) as peas or beans.
 
Thanks for response.
do you out any n in the seedbed? Do they need to be inoculated? Consistent I meant consistently grows them. Growing them for own use. I assume they dd ok if you are growing them.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
Thanks for response.
do you out any n in the seedbed? Do they need to be inoculated? Consistent I meant consistently grows them. Growing them for own use. I assume they dd ok if you are growing them.
They do dd fine although most would say you can’t. The truth is that although most advise is that they don’t like compaction I’ve planted them as a cover, with a mix of almost everything else, in some land that was very compacted and only the Lupins grew. It was interesting to note that in one of the copies is of direct driller magazine the people promoting tillage radish rated the tillage radish second in rooting ability after a lupin.
You must use inoculated seed, the rhizobium needed for nodulation doesn’t occur naturally in UK soils. It’s also illegal to farm save Lupin seed, seed borne disease has been kept out of the UK and it needs to remain the case. Don’t use N in the seedbed, you’ll restrict nodulation and end up with a lower yield.
 

EddieB

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Staffs
I wondered if inoculation was still standard practice. I grew a crop around twenty years ago which yielded quite well but inoculating the seed seemed a bit of a faff.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
I wondered if inoculation was still standard practice. I grew a crop around twenty years ago which yielded quite well but inoculating the seed seemed a bit of a faff.
That was years ago, had to mix seed and inoculant in a cement mixer, later replaced by inoculant in a powder that you sprinkled on the seed.Both those methods required you to drill everything you’d inoculated in the same day. Now the inoculant is glued onto the seed in a dressing that preserves the rhizobium for months and is easy.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
What is their financial value relative to beans? What are they 25-30% CP? @Simon Chiles do you feed or sell?
I’m not an expert in nutrition, I sell all I grow for seed. I think their CP is higher than that but I think their value is more complicated than just CP. As far as I’m aware I think you get a greater response than just substituting on a like for like CP, it’s something to do with the composition of the proteins and their availability to the animal. If you were buying to feed to your own stock I think you’d find that Lupins were far better value than peas or beans.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
The only fly in the ointment for us was Delia bean fly. If emergence coincides with been fly egg laying then its curtains for the crop. Drilling date is critical.

We used our homegrown combine harvested white lupins as the protein source in our cattle ration for three years without any problem as far as I could see. We had tried to grow a blue lupin triticale silage mix but the bean fly wiped out the lupins in the mix leaving jest the triticale. We stuck to grass silage after that. The triticale silage bales went into meltdown as soon as the wrap was off for some reason. The beast lived them but sweated like pigs.
 

EddieB

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Staffs
That was years ago, had to mix seed and inoculant in a cement mixer, later replaced by inoculant in a powder that you sprinkled on the seed.Both those methods required you to drill everything you’d inoculated in the same day. Now the inoculant is glued onto the seed in a dressing that preserves the rhizobium for months and is easy.
Yes I used a cement mixer, then dashed off to get the seed planted ASAP. We grew ours as a seed crop and they were exported to Holland. I have never been so nervous about getting a rejected load.
 

Simon Chiles

DD Moderator
What is the rough price of seed per acre Simon ??
I can’t remember offhand, it’s not cheap, however when you consider the testing etc to keep out anthracnose and the cost of the inoculant it’s fairly reasonable. I also know that most of the seed already has been sold for this year, you’ll be lucky if you can source some. Long term, especially with the price of Soya rocketing I’d imagine that the prospects are quite attractive for Lupins if you want to feed your own stock.
Edit. I’ve just looked on Soya UK’s website and they have £55/acre in their budget. Obviously it’ll vary a bit between blue and whites and your chosen seed rates.
 

In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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In conversation with a soil health pioneer

Written by Janet Hughes



https://www.buzzsprout.com/1657363/8311877-janet-hughes-and-gabe-brown-the-six-principles-of-soil-health.mp3

In this month's Future Farming podcast, Janet Hughes talks to Gabe Brown.

Gabe has been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. He farms at...
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