The benefit of incorporating a legume crop into the rotation is the build-up of nitrogen within the soil and the residual effect this can leave behind for the next crop.
The area of field legume crops grown in Scotland is declining. These legumes are grown as a protein crop for animal feed. In 2018 there were only 515 ha of protein peas and 2,300 ha of field beans grown. Conversely, areas of legume produced for human consumption rose last year, very slightly; there were 8,100 ha of peas grown and 1,800 ha of beans. These crops were produced for the canning, freezing or drying market.
Sign up to the FAS newsletter
Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service