We are pioneering a unique scheme to help our growers while providing a valuable, sustainable and secure feed supply for livestock.
Our new bean buyback scheme gives growers a guaranteed and stable price based on the LIFFE market price for UK wheat. And the price can be fixed at any time.
Our farmers will also get additional premiums if their bean protein levels exceed a specific threshold.
Our Head of Grassland and Forage Agronomy, Lisa Hambly, said: “If a farmer is debating whether to grow wheat or beans to sell on, we will pay over the wheat futures price for beans.
“The scheme has many benefits. For growers, it’s providing a secure and premium market for their produce, whilst benefitting soil health and reducing the need for nitrogen in the cropping rotation.
There is a big win from an environmental point of view too.
“Following Covid and the current Ukraine crisis, feed supplies have been put under strain. This scheme is designed to help secure the supply of high-quality feed for livestock whilst benefitting the environment and growers.”
Farmers signing up need to farm within 50 miles of one of our three feed mills in the South West. The beans are grown under contract and repurchased after harvest to be used across our entire compound and blend ruminant feed range.
It’s hoped the scheme will also improve sustainability by producing feed locally and reducing the reliance on soya while encouraging more growers to engage with our feed mills.
It also creates a circular economy which reduces waste, emissions and pollution by reusing, sharing, repairing, remanufacturing or recycling to create a closed-loop system. A win, win for the environment.
Eight growers, covering 325ha, are currently signed up to the scheme, including the Alvis family at Lye Cross Farm near Bristol. But we want to expand the grower network even further.
Nick Green, Lye Cross Farm Operations Director, currently has 113ha of the winter bean variety Vespa in the ground. He said: “The bean buyback scheme provides an opportunity for both the grower and Mole Valley Farmers to produce something the customer wants at a price linked to the wheat LIFFE price.
“This ensures transparency and clarity between grower and buyer. There is a premium paid for protein and as the buyback agreement is structured, both organisations benefit.
“The contract also covers one hundred per cent of the harvested produce of the area sown, which provides security for the grower.”
Nutritionist Dr Kerensa Hawkey said beans provide a good source of protein for ruminants, reducing the need for imports.
“Beans have a good protein content of 26 to 27% and the amino acid, lysine, is essential in milk production. They are also a good source of starch,” she said. “The varieties we have selected are particularly high in protein. Beans work well both nutritionally and for physical quality in our compounds and blends, right across our ruminant feed range.”
We have been working with leading seed specialists, Cope Seeds, to select varieties with excellent agronomic value for the growers, as well as achieving the highest possible nutritional values.
Winter varieties include Tundra and Vespa, which have been selected for their high protein content. The spring variety Victus has been chosen for its low vicine content to maximise feed efficiency.
For more information on the bean buyback scheme or our feed range call us on 01769 575661.