Close collaboration with our R&D colleagues within the Agrii business enables us to thoroughly assess proof of concept for new crop opportunities. This includes how and where to grow crops, through to where products would fit into the supply chain, to differing quality parameters.
We are working hard to bring innovation crops to market, especially with many farmers looking at alternatives to OSR. This work should help increase farm resilience and provide short supply chains into market.
This is a new and evolving story for us. It is solely targeted at the human food chain where the product offers a very high nutritional profile to the consumer.
Currently a naked type, food barley is also naturally lower yielding, but grain buybacks have been created to provide growers with at least as much gross margin opportunity as that of malting barley.
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With the rise of the plant-based sector, home grown proteins are becoming more sought after. Finding new ways to produce protein has been at the forefront of our investigations into new innovation crops, and legumes have the benefit of doing so while also improving soil structure, nitrogen fixation, and increasing water retention. They therefore play an important part within a cropping rotation. We aim to increase our portfolio of legumes to give the grower more choice to find the perfect fit for their system.
LOOKING INTO LEGUMES
Growing haricot beans on a commercial scale in the UK could offer a low food miles alternative supply model. With almost every single bean in the canned bean market being imported into the UK currently, there is the opportunity for the value chain to reduce the carbon footprint currently associated with the 'British' classic of baked beans.
Haricot beans could also make a valuable contribution towards improving soil structure and help extend farm rotations through offering a short season, nitrogen-fixing break crop desired by UK growers.
Find out more about our work with the University of Warwick, to bring chickpeas to the market in the UK by reading the news story on the link below.
We’re continuing our work on chickpeas and are looking to grow some more pilot crops. Maturity, and how to deal with it, remains a key focus in getting this crop over the line. Our investigations into chickpeas involve work to assess and evaluate growing, managing and harvesting the crop to maximise their output within the UK climate.
We have been impressed with the chickpea growth and ripening this season despite the lack of moisture; however, maturity still remains key to the success of this crop. Our work into chickpeas will continue.