Dry Edible Beans

Mixed dry edible beans

The latest Extension information about dry bean production and management practices from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Nebraska's Dry Bean Industry

Nebraska dry edible bean producers plant anywhere from 140,000 to 200,000 acres of beans in a typical year. This production is concentrated in western Nebraska.

Nebraska's national rankings in dry bean production (Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture, 2008):

  • 4th in production of all dry edible beans
  • 1st in production of great northern beans
  • 2nd in production of pinto beans

Learn More About Dry Beans:


Dry bean researchers meet at Scottsbluff to plan for future projects

Not long after the public attended the Dry Bean Field Tour at Scottsbluff to hear about the latest research into dry edible beans, a group of dry bean scientists from around the nation met here to set priorities for the next five years of research.

Fourteen researchers from a half-dozen states met at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center. They are members of W-2150, a group that plans multi-state regional research efforts that use U.S. Department of Agriculture funding. About 20 institutions are represented in W-2150, according to Mark Brick, a dry bean breeding specialist at Colorado State University.
The research project committee met at Scottsbluff to prepare a proposal for the next five years of research funding and also write a final report on the prior five-year project. In addition to plant breeders, the group included plant pathologists, agronomists, nutritionists and scientists who study the health benefits of dry beans – their value in helping to prevent cancer, diabetes, and various other chronic diseases.

Brick said the five-year project is administered through CSREES, the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, an agency in the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The project is titled "Breeding Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) for Resistance to Abiotic and Biotic Stresses, Sustainable Production, and Enhanced Nutritional Value."

Main objectives for the next five years include improving yields by boosting resistance to plant stresses such as diseases, drought and heat; promoting human health and well-being through better genomics; and implementing sustainable and profitable ag systems that conserve natural resources and protect the environment.

The CSREES funding helps support some of the efforts of Carlos Urrea, dry bean breeding specialist at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, to develop new lines of great northern, pinto and other market class dry beans that are more resistant to drought and heat as well as diseases. Urrea's work is often done in cooperation with USDA and other land-grant institutions.

The Scottsbluff meeting also gave the researchers an opportunity to tour local plots involved in multi-state regional bean variety trials. Regional trials allow plant breeders to see how bean lines perform in various locations. They also inspected Urrea's experimental plots.