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PGRO Pulse Crop Bulletin

Becky Ward, PGRO senior technical officer, advises:

Frost damage

Some crops of peas, particularly vining peas, are showing signs of frost damage following low overnight temperatures over the last few days. Symptoms are yellowing, bleaching and browning of foliage. Damaged tissue will wilt but usually young plants will recover. Late frosts can affect developing flower buds where present, and problems with harvesting schedule may occur. Leaf wax should be tested before applying post-emergence herbicides as frost will reduce leaf wax.

In beans, frost-damaged foliage will be seen as blackened areas around the edges of the leaves.

In winter beans, some flowers may also be affected.

Disease control

There are no reports of chocolate spot in winter beans yet and fungicide sprays should be delayed until the disease is present. Sporadic rainfall may lead to some crops developing disease in the next week or two but where conditions remain dry risk of chocolate spot is low.

There are no reports of downy mildew infection in spring bean crops but crops should be monitored closely for disease development. Look for a greyish-brown, felty growth on the under-surface of leaves. Some varieties have good tolerance to the disease. No action is necessary until early flowering. For further information about the disease and the risk in your area, go to

Pea moth

Pea moth traps should be placed in crops by the third week of May. See PGRO Technical Update 149 for details. The spray information telephone line will be available from the end of May on 01780 783099. Traps are available from Oecos (Tel: 01438 832481).

PGRO is the non statutory levy body which promotes and carries out research and development in peas and beans. PGRO growing guides and recommended lists of varieties are the national references for growers. The PGRO publishes ‘The Pulse Magazine’ quarterly, the ‘Pulse Agronomy Guide’ annually, issues bulletins during the growing season, provides education and training courses, and runs grower / agronomist meetings around the UK.

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