Sowing time effect on yield and quality of field beans in a changing meteorological situation in the Baltic region
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As field beans (Vicia faba L.) need a lot of moisture to germinate, growers believe that they should be sown as early as possible in the spring. Field trial was carried out at the LLU RSF “Pēterlauki”, from 2018 to 2020. Following factors were researched: A) sowing time (early, medium and late), B) variety (‘Laura’, ‘Boxer’, ‘Isabell’), C) sowing rate (30, 40, 50 germinable seeds m-2 ), D) fungicide application (without and with application of fungicide at the GS 61-65). Meteorological conditions during the study had the greatest impact on the results as they were contrasting. Adverse meteorological conditions for field bean growing were observed in 2018 and in spring and early summer of 2019. The best year for bean yield formation was 2020, when temperature and precipitation was moderate. The highest average three year been yield was obtained sowing beans at the medium sowing time, however, equivalent yield was obtained sowing beans also in early sowing time. Fungicide application increased average three year yield significantly (p = 0.007) and independently of the sowing time. Influence of variety and sowing rate on average three year yield was insignificant, and it was not proved that any variety or sowing rate could be more suitable in a specific sowing time. Average three-year values of crude protein content, thousand seed weight and volume weight were affected by sowing time significantly (p < 0.001). Trial year, variety and fungicide application also affected all quality parameters significantly (p < 0.05), but the effect of sowing rate was insignificant (p > 0.05).