Soya Beans

This year we took part in a project with a farmer from Suffolk and a farmer from Norfolk looking at ways to make soya a viable crop to grow in the UK. We spent a lot of time talking to and visiting other growers from around the world to try and gain as much knowledge as we possibly could. Here at The Hydes we planted about 20 ha with 12 m strips across the field each with a different variety/treatment/nutrition plan. Unfortunately the weather was not very helpful and from the day of planting we did not see any significant rainfall for about 8 weeks. This meant that on some of the area, germination of the crop was delayed. This then caused a problem as the crop had not reached maturity before the weather broke again in the autumn.

We finally managed to harvest the soya in the end of October, the moisture of the bean was +40% (below 15% is the desired moisture). The final yield was 2t/ha dry weight. To make soya a viable crop yields need to be 3t/ha or more. We had planned to continue the trial for another year but unfortunately with new regulations on importing GM soya, this meant that the price would drop and we would need to grow even higher yields to make it viable. Although some of the trial plots suggested that it was possible. We feel that the time is not right at present and have decided to stop the trial.