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Legumes in rotations, benefits for the environment and your budget

6 September 2023

Introducing legume crops into rotations on your farm or croft has multiple benefits and can positively impact your budget and the environment. Legume crops fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and do not rely on the input of artificial fertilisers. They also leave nitrogen behind in the soil after harvest, which can be used by the following crop. Legumes work well as spring crops, allowing you to spread planting and harvesting throughout the year.  Environmental benefits from legumes, whether used as a main crop or as a cover crop, include improved biodiversity on-farm both above ground for pollinating insects and below ground for beneficial microbes and improved soil structure. Livestock benefit from legumes in rotations because these deliver more digestible protein at a lower environmental cost than conventional rotations.

Interested in introducing legumes into your rotations? The Farm Advisory Service (FAS) can help. Get funded up to £1,000 for targeted guidance on introducing legumes from a specialist adviser you trust by selecting the soil and nutrient management option. For more information and to apply for funding visit or contact FAS at or 0300 323 0161.

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