Soya / Lupins

Discussion in 'Cropping' started by Banana Bar, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Banana Bar

    Banana Bar Member

    Bury St Edmunds
    In the search for another break crop both of these crops appear interesting. I have heard of soya producing good results and others producing next to nothing, lupins seem even more variable. Is anyone growing these crops successfully for more than one year? The Soya UK YouTube clips are somewhat hazy just mentioning repeatedly how good the crops look!

  2. Devon James

    Devon James Member

    I would like to try Lupins again. 1 tonne per acre is probably a yield to budget for. But like I said would like to give them another go
    Late combining.
    Great source of home grown protein.
    Perhaps a more reliable option is to grow them as part of a wholecrop mix but I doubt that would be of interest to you.
  3. parker

    parker Member

    south staffs
    @Simon Chiles
    I have been growing Lupins for the last three years,i plan to grow them this year.
    They are a fantastic source of protein , whites can be late combing (first week of oct for me) blues are 3 weeks earlier.
    Best person to talk to is David and Jackie @Soya UK
    I do like growing lupins, i think they are vastly underrated crop especially when we import so much soya, but it is a chicken and egg
    scenario until there are enough lupins grown the mills wont comit them to their ration, so mainly just home producers at the moment
  4. chaffcutter

    chaffcutter Moderator

    S. Staffs
    What sort of yields have you been getting Tim? Do you feed them yourself?
  5. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    I think you need to consider the benefits to the rotation with both these crops rather than what each one produces individually. Both require attention to detail in establishing and initial growth period but once they are properly established then from then on they’re easy. Soya desiccation timing is critical to yield.
    Lupins have the advantage of not only fixing nitrogen but also exude citrates from their roots to release P for the following crop. I tell people that they’ll get a tonne per hectare more from the following wheat but a tonne per acre is often nearer the mark. Blue Lupins harvest earliest, for me they are normally end of August and Whites are normally second or third week in September. As @Devon James says it’s best if you know someone who wants to buy them as feed or you need to be on a seed contract because otherwise the market is very limited.
    Soya is probably slightly harder to grow, although not difficult, keeping the pigeons off at emergence is the hardest part. Drilling depth is critical, Soya has a fixed length hypercotyl so if you wack them in too deep it’s game over. Soya needs about 240 kg/ha N which it can fix via the rhizobium but remember that the rule of thumb for legumes is that the N legacy is roughly 1/3 of the crop requirement ie 80 kg/ha which is significantly more than peas or beans. Soya has a wide range of herbicides approved for it. The biggest advantage of Soya is that the market already exists as huge quantities are imported. Soya harvest is normally third or fourth week in September. Soya UK have very good varieties that are tried and tested in the UK, I’m slightly cautious about other suppliers that are starting to get on the Soya bandwagon.
  6. Cowski

    Cowski Member

    South West
    There must be an opportunity to market lupins direct to dairy farmers who use straights already? We buy feed beans locally which works well both ways and would certainly be interested in trying some lupins to substitute rape/soya in rations if they were available
  7. Hindsight

    Hindsight Member

    Your thoughts on impact of no diquat for desiccation from 2020, particularly once move north into Lincolnshire and above and if at any altitude or coastal delaying effect. Same can be said of course for other crop where we might use diquat (peas/beans) Have you tried glyphosate on soya as desiccant - if so how effective ?
  8. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    You need a market for lupins - grew them a few year and not a bad crop but every time I had to find my own (dairy farm) market

    Soya ....... seriously don’t bother ! I tried twice and failed miserably, I did warn @dontknowanything as well who has recently also failed I believe ?
    spin cycle likes this.
  9. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    Whilst you are obviously entitled to that opinion with your experience I then ought to point out, in the interest of balanced discussion, that I have never had a failed crop of Soya out of all the ones I’ve grown, probably seven or eight. The days of me being the biggest Soya grower in the country have long gone, in 2017 I think the acreage was about 5000, in 2018 it increased to nearer 8000 acres mainly from people increasing their area.
    Also, in the interest of balance, I had a complete disaster with my Lupins last year with a complete failure, or certainly not one worth combining. However I ought to point out that I’ve grown more Lupin crops than Soya and have already placed my order for Lupin seed this year.
    New Puritan and Woodlander like this.
  10. Simon Chiles

    Simon Chiles DD Moderator

    I haven’t used glyphosate on Soya as I’ve always grown seed crops although it is certainly fairly normal to do so.
    Don’t panic about the loss of diquat, admittedly I did initially, especially when I’m growing a new perennial crop ( this one’s for livestock farmers rather than arable ) that I harvested by hand and am only into the third year of what I anticipate to be a ten year program. I have been assured that there are replacements in the pipeline for the diquat.
    Hindsight likes this.
  11. Pan mixer

    Pan mixer Member

    Near Colchester
    I grew lupins last year, crap weather for them and poor yield.

    To cap it all they analysed at only 20% cp having been assured that they would do a lot more than this.

    My land is too heavy, they were on the lightest bit.
  12. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    I can only talk from experience - 3 attempt at growing it and never had a harvest despite following advice to the letter

    Maybe a latitude or soil type difference but they are not for me it seems

    It’s the only crop I’ve ever grown that I’ve failed to get to harvest and I know I’m not alone in that

    Shame as without doubt it would be a grest addition to the rotation
  13. parker

    parker Member

    south staffs
    I got around 1 ton/ acre john, no i dont feed them my self i had to find a market, which isnt easy but i like a challenge.
    chaffcutter likes this.
  14. parker

    parker Member

    south staffs
    There are people like your self who are willing to try, but time and time again i would get in touch with farmers who would say yes, until their nutrition person got involved, who would talk them out of saying it was not worth the risk of changing the ration, lupins defiantly have their place in the market just need more people to try them and save carbon on moving soya around the world
  15. jonnyjon

    jonnyjon Member

    Have tried to grow lupins twice, both on there own and with triticale, failed both times, won't be giving them another go
  16. New Puritan

    New Puritan Member

    East Sussex
    This sounds intriguing - would you mind saying more about what it is please?
  17. Soya UK

    Soya UK Member

    Clive - Be fair - the 58 acres of Vilshanka you grew in 2013 were ravaged by pigeons and then it all got round-upped off prematurely when you were off on your holidays in June - including the good bits that were supposed to be left to see what it would do. The crop was destroyed before it could show you what it was capable of. In 2014 - we gave you 4 acres of free seed to have a trial, but that small patch "never even made it out the ground" - at the time you said it was due to pre-em toxicity.

    We are more than happy to discuss crop performance with growers - and there is variation - we have had everything from 1.3 tonnes per acre down to 0.25 tonnes per acre - but its hardly fair to criticise when your 2 attempts weren't given a fair crack of the whip, and neither were allowed to get to harvest.... If growers get 50+ plants per square metre up and running without the establishment difficulties you experienced, then you should be thinking in terms of 0.75 -1.0 tonne per acre - (in a "normal" year). (No such thing as "normal" - I know).

    I do agree with your comments on lupins. In many ways a great crop, but the market is very reluctant. They are fantastic for home feeding - (the only vegetable protein with better protein quality than soya), but without a regular market, we are stuck with farm-to-farm opportunistic trading. In reality the lupin acreage would be huge, if only there was a large, regular feed market - but despite our numerous attempts to get the feed trade interested, they remain firmly wedded to soya as their prime protein source....
  18. Clive

    Clive Staff Member


    Sorry David but that’s not at all accurate

    I would have loved to have got as far as feeding pigeons with them but the truth was emergence was so poor there was nothing for them to eat , pretty sure our agronomist @richard hammond would concur ! I do think the pre-em recommended was probably the reason, a bit hot for our soils maybe

    There was so little crop that accepting the first loss is the best loss and growing a summer cover crop was the best option - the good news was the following wheat crop out performed any wheat ever grown on that field by a couple of tonnes / ha and has been a lot better ever since so the summer cover did pay back eventually

    Same the year after ..... twice, can’t say I didn’t give it a fair chance, I would have loved to make it work, we really need more spring planted break crops but this clearly not a crop for us

    I’m sure its a good crop in the right situation / soil type and don’t doubt others are successful with it
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  19. Soya has to be processed so it won't appeal to home mixers anyway.
  20. slim shiny

    slim shiny Member

    Thetford, norfolk
    We grew soya for the first time last year with reasonable results. What we learnt was it takes a lot to keep the pigeons off!! And we were lucky with the weather to cut them dry in October. Yield wise it did not break any records but the land was late lifted parsnips which usually gets spring barley drilled early may so never amounts to much. With soya we were able to drill them at the recommended time, think we are having more this year

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