We had a great day in Radway, Warwickshire on Wednesday at our Bean Knowledge Transfer day. that was well attended and well received. We had the great and the good from the organic bean growing world as well as representatives from the bean supply chain.
We started with an introduction from Andrew, talking about the current state of organic bean cultivation, and the market followed by Charlie Lowis, a nutritionist from Mole Valley and Lisa Hambly a Mole Valley agronomist talking about the nutritional value of beans, as well as their current feed sourcing and ambition for the future. We had plant breeder Robin Warren from Aberystwyth who specialise in winter beans, and product manager Michael Shuldhan from LSPB whose focus is on spring beans and who are so far the only breeder to have developed low Vicine/Convicine varieties. We also heard from Chris Judge from the PGRO who gave a fascinating talk on some of their research work, including trap cropping to reduce weevil and bruchid damage and spring intercropping trials of beans and oats and interestingly, beans and peas as a Bicrop.
I had a talk on bean agronomy that was cut short due to running slightly behind schedule so I will be recording this and posting it as a blog piece soon, along with the other presentations from the day. As well as all the talks, we also had a short break out session on the key challenges and opportunities for both the winter and spring beans and also managed to fit in a short field walk to look at a crop of Phil Douthwaite's beans and wheat. Thanks to Phil for hosting.
We had a session on the new Living Lab through LiveSeeding, outlining our plans for some on-farm bean cultivar evaluation trials and a new digital tool to facilitate farmer assessment and scoring of varieties in the field, SeedLinked. If anyone is interested in engaging with the trials we'd be delighted to hear from you.
Thanks to everyone who attended form making it such a useful and interesting day.