Tillage Specialist Ciaran Collins gives an update on the various stages that spring beans are at present. Disease concerns are chocolate spot and downy mildew
There is a large range in growth stages of beans this season due to the prolonged sowing period. Sowing of beans started in November and continued through till early April. November and January beans are well into flowering while later sown beans are at the start of flowering.
Disease pressure is high in Autumn/early spring sown beans where both chocolate spot - see main image above - and downy mildew are present. Similar to cereals, crop establishment is excellent which has resulted in high plant populations which has increased disease pressure.
It is important to keep spray intervals tight to prevent chocolate spot and as a result early sown crops will require a three spray programme. Two applications of Signum are allowed and Elatus Era (one application) is registered for beans this year at a maximum rate of 0.66L/ha.
There are no metalaxyl fungicides approved for beans so growers will have to rely on bio-stimulants like Basfoliar Aktiv 2.0L/ha and Nutriphite PGA 0.5L/ha to improve plant resistance against downy mildew.