FAQ for Lupins
1. Are Lupins easy to grow?
Lupins are very easy to grow and agronomy requirements are cheap and straightforward. Lupins require a normal spring seedbed, little or no fertiliser and very little in the way of sprays. Lupins can be made into silage, crimped, or dry combined. This coupled with rising feed prices, is one of the reasons why we have seen huge expansion in the UK Lupin area over the last few years.
2. What soil types do Lupins like?
Lupins can be grown on all soil types but care should be taken to select the correct Lupin type and variety. Lupins do not like cold or heavy waterlogged soils, therefore good seedbed management is essential and the key to a good crop. Growers on heavy ground should be assured that some of the best yields have been achieved on heavy soils, but seedbeds should be managed closely and drilling delayed if conditions are both cold and wet.
The objective is for Lupins to grow away with some vigour, and sowing should not take place before the recommended date. With regard to soil pH, again, care should be taken to select the correct type and variety. Blue and Yellow Lupins thrive with a pH range of 4.5 - 7.0 White Lupins thrive with a pH range of 5.0 - 7.9.
3. What do I do with my crop?
You can either choose to grow Lupins for wholecrop or to dry combine for feed, thus reducing reliance on bought in feedstuffs. Alternatively you can grow on a buy-back contract. You are free to choose, and we also have an option whereby you can feed some and sell the rest. Other growers will grow the crop and sell it locally to a neighbouring stock farmer.
4. Are Lupins a good break crop?
Time after time, we find the best cereal crops on the farm are those grown after Lupins. Lupins are an excellent break crop for a number of reasons,
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they are deep rooted and therefore help with soil structure, they are very effective fixers of nitrogen (fixing more Nitrogen per hectare than peas or beans), they offer a good opportunity for grass weed control, sowing date and harvest time help spread workloads at peak times and importantly, Lupins offer a clean break, even fitting in with peas and beans in a rotation.
5. Which is the best kind of Lupin to grow?
This depends on your location and the desired end use for the crop. There are different Lupins for combining and other varieties for wholecrop. Within this, the variety choice will vary depending on which part of the country you are in, your soil type, and soil pH. Above all else, you must choose the correct variety for the job in hand.