Dry Edible Bean Acres to Increase; UNL Cultivar A Top Seed Choice

Dry Edible Bean Acres to Increase; UNL Cultivar A Top Seed Choice

Dry bean producers everywhere are expected to plant more Great Northern beans in 2014 than they have in recent years, including Coyne, the Great Northern variety released in 2008 by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Great Northern bean variety Coyne, named for former UNL bean breeder Dermot Coyne


Figure 1. The Great Northern bean variety Coyne, named for the late Dermot Coyne, longtime UNL bean breeder, was released in 2008.

David Scholand, sales and marketing representative for Treasure Valley Seed Co. of Reynolds, N.D., said demand is "off the charts" for all types of seed that his company sells.

"This year we've sold out of everything we've got," Scholand said. "Kidneys, Great Northerns, anything you can tie a contract to."

Dry bean growers want to lock in prices for market classes for which bean processors offer advance contracts, he said. In recent years, beans have had to compete for acreage with other crops such as corn. With corn prices much lower this year, bean seed has been in demand. Bean prices have held up well in recent years.

There's been a big demand for Great Northerns, Scholand said, including for Coyne. Treasure Valley Seed of Wilder, Idaho, which has the sole license to grow Coyne seed, produces the seed in Idaho and Wyoming.

Scholand was in the Panhandle recently to visit Dr. Carlos Urrea, UNL dry edible bean breeding specialist who released Coyne, and area seed dealers.

In addition to selling to U.S. growers, Treasure Valley plans to begin exporting seed to several foreign markets, including Canada and Argentina.

Scholand said growers and producers have been pleased by Coyne's seed quality and that elevators often recognize the quality by sight when a truckload is delivered. In addition, Coyne plants have an upright quality that facilitates direct harvest, which is becoming increasingly important, he said. Coyne also has good disease resistance and great uniformity of maturity, meaning the entire field ripens at the same time. This saves growers money by avoiding the use of desiccants on parts of the field that aren't as mature.

The variety was named after Dermot P. Coyne, who was a bean breeder at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for almost 30 years before he retired in 2001. Coyne died in 2002.

Coyne's work led to the release of many popular dry bean varieties. Coyne is a midseason bean maturing 91 days after planting and ranging in maturity from 90 to 92 days. Its seed coat is bright white and it exhibits a semi-upright growth habit.

Coyne was the fruit of collaboration between UNL, the Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association, and the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, which uses dry bean check-off funds to provide some of the funding that supports UNL's bean-breeding program.

Great Northern Bean Survey

If you grow Great Northerns, check out another article in this week's CropWatch and take the Great Northern survey.

Dave Ostdiek
Communications Specialist, Panhandle REC, Scottsbluff

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