growing pulses

Farmers growing pulses who are part of an ambitious project to cut carbon emissions from UK agriculture will be the first to benefit from a new knowledge exchange platform launched today by ADAS.

The independent agricultural consultancy has created the PulsePEP (Performance Enhancement Platform) where trial results, data and supporting information from experts involved in the Nitrogen Climate Smart (NCS) project will be hosted.

Launched today at The CropTec Show, the aim for the online tool is to bring together a community united behind the aims of the NCS initiative.

“The PulsePEP has been designed with farmers growing pulses in mind – by sharing knowledge the PulsePEP will ensure we can produce pulse crops that are profitable and resilient, so that farmers will want to grow them,” said Dr Thomas Wilkinson, Senior Research Consultant in Crop Physiology at ADAS.

“Those farmers who are doing on-farm trials for the NCS project will share data that will hopefully demonstrate the benefits of growing pulses in rotations. These trials will implement and build on the latest scientific understanding from research platforms and small-plot trials.”

The NCS project is a four-year £5.9m research programme funded by Defra’s Farming Futures R&D fund, which is delivered by Innovate UK.

More than 200 UK farms will be involved in either trials, carbon baselining, or sharing information, while 17 industry partners will also be contributing their expertise. All of this knowledge will come together on PulsePEP, with the overall goal being to bring about a reduction of 1.5Mt CO₂e per annum.

With the PulsePEP tool now live, the next stage of the project is to carbon baseline the farms involved. Tailored assistance will be provided by the Farm Carbon Toolkit (FCT), allowing GHG emissions to be tracked throughout the project.

Some of the farms will be appointed as ‘Pulse Pioneers’ and will be paid to carry out trials. These will involve novel concepts, ideas, products, rations and sensors designed to help farmers reduce GHG emissions. This will be administered by the British On-farm Innovation Network (BOFIN).

The PulsePEP is part of the wider FarmPEP digital platform and is specifically designed to focus on pulse topics and provide a specific home for material relating to pulse production.

“The PulsePEP is free to use and anyone can log on to view the content,” Tom continued. “Those hoping to engage more can set up an account and then post content themselves or follow specific topics.

“Research from, and identified by, the NCS project partners will also be accessible, fulfilling the project’s aim to connect and link to a range of useful content associated with pulse growth. We highlight content to ensure it can be trusted and to help bring the most authoritative response to any queries raised.”

To become involved in the project go to, and to visit the PulsePEP platform go to


Notes to editors

  • Nitrogen Efficient Plants for Climate Smart Arable Cropping Systems (NCS) is a four-year £5.9M research programme involving 200 UK farms and 17 partners.
  • The project aims to bring about a reduction of 1.5Mt CO₂e per annum or 54% of the maximum potential for UK agriculture through increasing pulse and legume cropping in arable rotations to 20% across the UK and replacing 50% of imported soya meal used in livestock feed rations with home-grown pulses and legumes.
  • The project is steered by science and proven by real farm enterprises, with significant benefits for both crop and livestock productivity, including cost savings of over £1bn/yr.
  • PGRO (Processors and Growers Research Organisation) leads the consortium that includes AB Agri, ADAS, Agrii, BOFIN (British On-Farm Innovation Network), Cranfield University, Farm Carbon Toolkit, Firstmilk, GWCT (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust), The James Hutton Institute, Kelvin Cave, LC Beef Nutrition, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), McArthur Agriculture, PBL Technology, SRUC and Wessex Water.
  • The NCS Project is funded by the Farming Futures R&D Fund: Climate smart farming, part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme. Defra are working in partnership with Innovate UK who are delivering the programme. Project number: 10043778
  • Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. It supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions, helping businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services.
  • Farmers are encouraged to join the PulsePEP community, a platform and knowledge exchange hub. For more, visit
  • All press enquiries for NCS should be directed to BOFIN Farmers, or contact Skye Melita (, 07483 238577)

For all on-farm trials press releases click here.

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